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Black & white graphic of Beethoven standing at a piano

Emerald City Music joins This is Beethoven, a collaboration uniting twenty arts organizations in a city-wide festival demonstrating the power of arts to articulate our society’s moment in time. Centered around the 250th birthday anniversary of the revolutionary composer Ludwig Van Beethoven, this festival symbolically pays homage to the composer while making current the same pioneering spirit he represented during his time.

Beethoven’s presence in musical history is a great example of current needs in the time of COVID-19: pushing for change, unafraid of our voice, and transforming vulnerability to creativity. A side of his life often unknown, Beethoven dealt with abuse by his own father at a young age, battled custody over his own brother’s son, felt social anxiety due to his deafness, and constantly contemplated over life’s purpose. Beethoven inspires the theme of the festival because it symbolizes what it means to be human – to see beauty through the imperfections – and still come together.

“At a time when the ability to share art with others isn’t as easy to do, we are taking this as an opportunity to celebrate the collective power of what Seattle arts have to offer,” shared Kristin Lee, Artistic Director of Emerald City Music. “Beethoven’s 250th birthday gives us a reason to pause and implement the revolutionary qualities he carried that evolved the art form. Seattle arts are pioneers in their fields, and on the other side of COVID, will pave the way for the next Seattle arts evolution.”

This ticketed multi-day online festival will be accessible by visiting www.thisisbeethoven.org, with more details forthcoming. If you are interested in joining the project, please contact Emerald City Music at thisisbeethovenseattle@gmail.com by September 21. All partners will be confirmed by October 1.

Performances spanning from 30 – 60 minutes in length will be pre-recorded live at Vashon Center for the Arts in early December and produced for the late December festival. Partner organizations confirmed thus far include:

  • Emerald City Music, organizers
  • Amazon Symphony Orchestra
  • Byron Schenkman & Friends
  • Classical 98.1 KING FM
  • Northwest Film Forum
  • Northwest Sinfonietta
  • The Rhapsody Project
  • Seattle Modern Orchestra
  • Seattle Pro Musica
  • Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • South Hudson Music Project
  • University of Washington School of Drama
  • Vashon Center for the Arts
  • Zoe | Juniper