ISO celebrates Beethoven's 250th birthday with performances, art installation

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Above: Timelapse video of the UIndy Beethoven art installation assembly

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) is celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020.

ISO has partnered with UIndy’s Department of Art & Design to kick off the Beethoven 2020 Celebration with a unique art installation featuring a 12′ x 12′ cutout of the composer’s head.

According to ISO, the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birthday celebration will span a whole year and will be conducted by Music Director Krzysztof Urbański.

ISO released the following statement about the upcoming Beethoven celebration:

Beethoven forever changed the landscape of classical music, and to recognize that legacy, the ISO commissioned nine composers to write new pieces to be paired with each of the nine Beethoven symphonies. The celebration begins in January with three weekends dedicated to the first give Beethoven symphonies and other well-known works. The 2019–20 season comes to a close with all five Piano Concertos and Missa Solemnis, before the remaining four symphonies are performed in the fall of 2020.

The Beethoven 2020 celebration opens with two new commissions and the first two symphonies Beethoven composed. The First Symphony, written at the height of his classical prowess, came at the dawn of a new century. It was praised as an original masterpiece by his contemporaries in 1800 and shook-up the expectations of what a symphony should be. The bright and vibrant melodies of the Second Symphony may have brought comfort to Beethoven at a time when he was feeling a sense of despair.

The orchestra is inviting the public to check out the installation in the ISO’s Hilbert Circle Theatre lobby followed by a Beethoven-themed performance.

ISO said there will be three weekends of the performances, starting Friday, Jan. 10 with Beethoven’s First and Second Symphonies.

More celebrations of Beethoven will follow during the 2019 – 2020 Season, ISO said.

Follow the celebration on social media by using hashtag #BTHVN2020

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