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2019-2020: SEASON XII

IBP, founded in autumn 2008, is celebrating its 11th anniversary this year!

2020 is also the year of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and IBP will activate many long-planned initiatives during the course of this seminal year. Specific announcements will be coming soon.

At this time, we are happy to share with you the theme of the season and news of the upcoming Beethoven Birthday Bash, December 13-16, 2019 in Chicago and online.






The International Beethoven Project is excited to announce the 10th annual Beethoven Birthday Bash celebration in honor of the composer’s 249th birthday. This multi-day event based in Chicago, and online throughout the world, will honor Beethoven the musician and the man through this season’s chosen theme: SPIRIT.


Through this theme, we ask many questions. Beethoven is dead! What remains of him today? Can his spirit be measured? Can his influence be quantified, explained? Is the value of his work and of the energy he deployed through his life waning or waxing? Should we even celebrate Beethoven? Should we relegate him and his music to the dustbin of history or does he still have something of value to share with us today? What remains of the music and of the man 249 years on?


SPIRIT gives us an opportunity to question deeply, to seek the intangible, to explore the meaning of genius, of timelessness, of universality, and of love. SPIRIT is a chance for us to understand what brings humans together, and to go deeper in exploring how and why music and human expression have so much power over us. SPIRIT is our attempt to connect to Beethoven across time and space, and to be inspired anew to give the best of ourselves, as he did, in a world that is all too often chaotic and depressing. SPIRIT is our attempt to find harmony and meaning in our dissonant world, and to see if Beethoven’s spirit of creativity, courage and compassion can still renew hope in a world ravaged by humanitarian, social, and climate crises on a scale never before experienced in human history.


We will debate and attempt to answer these questions through music, art, conversation, experimentation, movement, meditation, and more throughout the Beethoven Birthday Bash celebration and beyond, in different formats in real life and online.


Through SPIRIT, we will look back, look forward, and we will look up at the stars to find renewed meaning and beauty in this disjointed world.


The Beethoven Birthday Bash: SPIRIT 249 will kick off the Beethoven@250 Year which will run throughout 2020 and culminate with the global celebration for Beethoven’s 250th birthday on December 16th, 2020.