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    The Beethoven Experience

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    Stadthalle – Kongress Palais Kassel
    Wed, 11 Dec 2019 20:00

    The Beethoven Experience

    Entering Ludwig van Beethoven`s 250th birthday, leading Beethoven interpreter Jan Caeyers and his orchestra Le Concert Olympique will appear in Kassel for the very first time. The concert will feature the celebrated protagonist of the international fortepiano scene Kristian Bezuidenhout, who will play an Erard grand piano from 1837.

    The unusual format of this concert – first a piano sonata, then a piano concerto and finally a symphony – intentionally breaks with tradition, which is motivated by the fact that musical innovations were always first reflected in Beethoven’s piano music before becoming established in his orchestral works.

    Two works from the late 18th century will be performed in the first half of the concert, in which the piano, Beethoven’s natural musical habitat, plays the central role. They demonstrate how Beethoven transforms the achievements of the classical style in a highly original way. From 1802 – following his existential crisis, the conclusion of which is evidenced in his “Heiligenstadt Testament” – Beethoven writes completely different music. His Third Symphony has entirely new dimensions in its structure and its expression. It symbolises the new way in which Beethoven – and after him the composers of the Romantic age – began to think about art and music. (Jan Caeyers)

    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 programs, 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: 11th December 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Time: 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Venue: Stadthalle – Kongress Palais Kassel