Beethoven 2020:

A global birthday celebration of Beethoven

Pittsburgh joins the world in celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, creating special programming that showcase the power, heroism, humanity, and revolutionary spirit of Beethoven's groundbreaking and visionary voice. Throughout the year, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform signature works, and, beginning in September, will celebrate its 125th anniversary season with special Beethoven collaborations with the community.

About Beethoven

Beethoven is the most performed, influential and known composer throughout history. Like Shakespeare, Michelangelo, DaVinci and Einstein, Beethoven's artistic output is celebrated as one of the supreme accomplishments in human history.

“Music is the best language, and Beethoven is the hero,” said Manfred Honeck, Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, at the Beethoven Museum in Heiligenstadt, a district in Vienna. At this house, Beethoven wrote the “Heiligenstadt Testament” in 1802, in despair at his deafness, and also worked on some of his most important pieces, such as the 3rd Symphony (“Eroica”). While the PSO was on tour last fall, Maestro Honeck visited this house with Mary Persin, vice president of Artistic Planning, and talked about Beethoven and his ideals.

Beethoven in your Neighborhood

Beethoven In Your Neighborhood

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recently announced a ground-breaking collaboration with area libraries: throughout the fall of 2020, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Library Association will partner and present all 16 Beethoven string quartets in more than 20 libraries, and that all of these performances will be presented for free to the public. In addition, the partners will collaborate on community engagement and artistic responses to the music. The special project is part of Beethoven's 250th birth year celebration and the 125th anniversaries of both the Pittsburgh Symphony and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. These concerts are made possible by generous support from PNC Bank and Carnegie Corporation of New York.


Upcoming Concerts that Celebrate Beethoven


The Joy of Beethoven: PSO Beethoven250 in Review


Fri, Jan 24 & Sun, Jan 26, 2020
With Nicole Chevalier, soprano; Eric Cutler, tenor; Wei Wu, bass; Rachele Gilmore, soprano; David Portillo, tenor; Brian Mulligan, baritone; Alexander Elliott, baritone; and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.

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Photo credit: Edward DeArmitt