Extending the Celebration of Beethoven’s Genius to 2021 and Beyond

It is most unfortunate that the cancellation of concerts due to the COVID-19 pandemic occurred precisely in the “Beethoven Year”. Countless numbers of musical events and memorials long planned to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great composer had to be called off, or in the best of cases, performed under extremely restrictive conditions. Fortunately, many of them have been re-scheduled for 2021, and every effort should be made to extend the celebrations throughout the entire year.

In our first issue of the year 2020, we expressed the hope that the Beethoven Year would be used “not only to celebrate the genius of the great composer, but to make a commitment to revive classical culture and to foster and treasure human creativity, as opposed to the culture of death and pessimism propa gated by the environmentalist movement and its financiers.” That is even more urgent today, after a very difficult year for many, who would have needed more than ever the moral strength and beauty which classical culture uniquely offers.

Lyndon LaRouche himself constantly pointed to the invaluable contribution of great music, and in particular that of Ludwig van Beethoven, in his own creative development. And he never ceased to challenge his collaborators and interlocutors to “think like Beethoven”.

The irreplaceable role of music in the betterment of society, as opposed to mere entertainment, was also brought up by conductor Riccardo Muti, in his own way, during the annual New Year’s concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. Despite the very difficult year, he said, “we are still here, believing in the message of music…. Music is not only a profession, but is a mission! That is why we do this work. It’s a mission for what? To make the society better. To think about the new generation, that for one complete year has been deprived of deep thinking. We are thinking all of the time about health. Health is the first most important thing, but also the health of the mind. And music helps. So, my message to the governors, and presidents, and prime ministers everywhere, in every part of the world: Consider culture, always, as one of the primary elements to have a better society in the future.”

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