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Rethinking Beethoven X

  /  Rethinking Beethoven X
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Philharmonie Berlin, Chamber Music Hall
Sat, 6 Mar 20:00

Rethinking Beethoven X

This concert, originally planned for 27 April 2020, unfortunately has to be postponed again – to Saturday, 6 March, 2021, at the same time and place. Tickets will remain valid for this date.

“Rethinking Beethoven X” was the working title of Jens Joneleit’s new composition, which revives Beethoven’s sketches for his 10th Symphony. It will be premiered by Beethoven expert Jan Caeyers and his orchestra Le Concert Olympique in Berlin.

This new piece is juxtaposed with Schubert’s 8th Symphony – probably the best-known example of an unfinished work. The program concludes with Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto with the Viennese pianist Till Fellner as soloist, who has enjoyed a longstanding successful collaboration with Jan Caeyers and Le Concert Olympique, including at the orchestra’s concert debut at the Philharmonie Berlin. Till Fellner has been working regularly with high-ranking conductors including Claudio Abbado, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano and Kirill Petrenko, as well as top-level orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmoniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

His collaboration with LCO in spring 2021 had long been planned for, and he is happy to join the orchestra in this very special program, which is not only designed to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday, but also the 10th anniversary of Le Concert Olympique.

Only a few days before his death, Beethoven repeated his firm intention to complete the 10th Symphony in a letter to London. Joneleit’s guiding idea for sinfonia. X is Beethoven’s journey into the future – our world today. Joneleit’s exploration of Beethoven’s collected experiences and final sketches promise a deep meaning within his own work: “Just as this journey would mean a new beginning for Beethoven, the encounter with him also means a new beginning for me, in that I want to allow myself to compose with Beethoven – and not against him”. The aim is therefore not a historical reconstruction of Beethoven’s work, but a contemporary realization of Beethoven’s intentions – a creative musical dialogue with Beethoven from which something new emerges.

Jan Caeyers and his orchestra Le Concert Olympique, which gathers leading musicians from all over Europe to perform Beethoven together, have had successful guest appearances in Berlin for many years.

Till Fellner

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Pianist Till Fellner plays with scrupulous musicianship, purity of style, and sparkling keyboard command—qualities that have earned him acclaim throughout Europe, the United States and Japan. His readings of the works of Bach and Beethoven in particular have placed him among the elect in this repertoire, and the inspired ingenuity of his performances of such 20th century masters as György Kurtág and Elliott Carter have earned him many accolades.

In the last few seasons, he toured extensively throughout Europe and North America. His busy recital schedule included Paris, Vienna, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France.

Till Fellner has an impressive discography to his credit on the EMI, Claves, Erato, Philips, and ECM labels, such as a CD of Harrison Birtwistle’s Chamber Music with Lisa Batiashvili, Adrian Brendel, et al. His 2010 ECM recording of the Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 4 and 5, with Nagano and the Montreal Symphony, was singled out for its clarity and impeccable beauty. Fellner also appears on an ECM album of new works by Thomas Larcher. His recording of Bach’s Two-and Three-Part Inventions and French Suite No. 5 has received widespread critical praise.

Jan Caeyers

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Jan Caeyers is a Belgian conductor and musicologist. He lived, studied and worked in Vienna for many years. From 1993 to 1997, he was assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. During this time, he also worked closely with Bernard Haitink and Pierre Boulez. 

Until 2003, Caeyers was director of the Beethoven Academy, a period instrument orchestra with which he was “artist in residence” at deSingel in Antwerp. With the Beethoven Academy, Jan Caeyers toured major European concert halls including Musikverein Vienna, Salzburg Mozarteum, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Cité de la Musique in Paris, and Auditorio Nazional in Madrid. As guest conductor, Jan Caeyers has led Antwerp Symphony, Staatsoper Stuttgart and orchestras in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and Prague. He has also conducted leading European choirs like the Arnold Schoenberg Chor in Vienna or the Nederlands Kamerkoor. 

In 2009, as a result of many years of research, his biography of Ludwig van Beethoven was published in Dutch by De Bezige Bij in Amsterdam. Meanwhile in its seventh edition, the superbly documented and elegantly written book has met with an enthusiastic reception. In 2012, the German translation was published by C. H. Beck in Munich under the title “Beethoven: Der einsame Revolutionär” (The lonely revolutionary). Since becoming a bestseller in Germany, it has been considered a reference work on Beethoven worldwide. Other translations have followed or are in preparation, including editions in Hungarian, Chinese and Arabic. In the Beethoven year 2020, a revised German edition and an English translation will be published. 

In 2010, Jan Caeyers founded his own Beethoven orchestra, Le Concert Olympique, with which he gave two sensational debut concerts in the same year at deSingel. In February 2018, Jan Caeyers was named Artistic Director of the newly founded Internationale Beethoven Akademie e.V. in Berlin. 

Le Concert Olympique

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Le Concert Olympique was founded in 2010 as the brainchild of Beethoven expert and conductor Jan Caeyers. He gathered 50 of the finest musicians from all over Europe to provide a contemporary experience of a timeless tradition with relevant and authentic performances of masterpieces by Beethoven and his contemporaries. All members of the orchestra share the love of music and the ambition to perform the works of the Viennese classical era in a fresh way and, at the same time, conscious of tradition, while developing a unique style that is both modern and historically motivated.

The orchestra has two residencies in Belgium: one at the Flagey in Brussels, and one at deSingel in Antwerp, where it started off with two sensational debut concerts in 2010. Since then, Le Concert Olympique has been invited to many other prestigious concert halls such as the Vienna Musikverein and De Doelen in Rotterdam. In the fall of 2017, the orchestra made its debut at the Beethovenfest Bonn and the Berlin Philharmonie. With its sophisticated programmes, it also thrilled audiences at the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In December 2018, the orchestra debuted at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis .

The musicians of Le Concert Olympique only come together several times per year to work intensively on their ambitious projects. The festive character of their concerts is emphasized by the fact that the musicians are dressed in concert attire designed by the Antwerp fashion house Maison Anna Heylen. This collaboration illustrates their shared goal of combining classical tradition with a modern experience.

The name Le Concert Olympique refers to “Le Concert de la Société Olympique”, the best-known concert series in Paris between 1782 and 1789. “Le Concert de la Société Olympique” commissioned six symphonies – his “Paris Symphonies” – from Joseph Haydn in 1785, which caused a stir and are generally considered the birth of the modern classical symphony.

Event Details

Date: 6th March 2021 @ 8:00 pm
Time: 8:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Venue: Philharmonie Berlin, Chamber Music Hall