Nowadays Beethoven's music does not cause us grief. In his time this might have been different and we know that he was about as independent from the rulers of the period as Prometheus was from Zeus. The rebellious character of Prometheus was important to Beethoven, he often referenced him. Was the creator of „Fidelio“ (a work which also revolves around a supressed soul) a rebellious artist, a Bob Dylan of the 19th century, someone who might have been the creator of „Fridays for Future“ today?
Ludwig van Beethoven, whose 250th birthday is the main subject of the year 2020, was an independent artist who aimed to have his music, his own world, absolute: “The world is like a king and wants to be appeased – but true art has a mind of its own. It cannot be forced into flattering moulds, " noted Beethoven in 1820 in one of his conversation books. In this sense he accepted no compromises. On the other hand, in his daily dealings with his noble clients and sponsors he was often more reserved.
As this years' Kissinger Sommer operates under the title „Beethoven Metamorphosis“ to take a journey through the composer's works and world view I would like to recommend you to try and feel his desire for freedom and revolutionary spirit. His self-will, his desire for expression and humanism in musical form. Think of this when somewhere in the world the „flattering moulds“ take over and free thinking is wrapped in chains. Have an uncompromising spirit, just like Beethoven, even when Zeus sends his eagle … I wish you all many wonderful moments at the Kissinger Sommer 2020!
Dr. Tilman Schlömp
Artistic Director of the Kissinger Sommer