DW Transtel
2 x 45 min (684930)
1 x 90 min (684933)

Celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the world is paying tribute to a cultural icon, a genius, a wildly popular composer – and a deeply radical artist who expanded the horizons of music and who engaged with the political upheavals of his time.

It is said that Beethoven changed the world. But what does that mean? Can an individual artist influence the course of (musical) history? And how do we gauge the extent of that influence? One way to find some answers might be to imagine a world in which there had been no Beethoven!

How would the film composers of today set the mood without the nuances of instrumentation created by Beethoven in his symphonies? What would jazz be without the syncopation found in Beethoven’s later works? And aren’t all rock music riffs based on Beethoven’s famous “da-da-da-daaa“, the shocking opening notes of his 5th symphony?

So Beethoven is clearly still with us. His works are performed around the world. He is an inspiration to artists who engage with politics. The anthem of the European Union derives from his 9th symphony. And he also wrote the first ever solo for horn!

Sarah Willis, French horn player with the Berlin Philharmonic and a well-known music educator, explores Beethoven’s enduring influence in conversation with musicians and experts – among them film composer John Williams, jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, the Brazilian musician and former political refugee Chico Buarque, the multitalented Van Dyke Parks, rock guitarist Rudolf Schenker, and the director of the Vienna Musikverein concert hall Thomas Angyan. We also hear excerpts from works by the master himself.

Scroll to top
Selection Cart