Beethoven House Interior

Illinois Plays Major Role in New Beethoven Museum in Vienna

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Vienna's new Beethoven Museum doesn't formally open until November 22, but interested music lovers can get a sneak preview by attending a kick-off event in Chicago this week. 

American Friends of the Vienna Museum, will host "Vienna's New Beethoven Museum... And How Chicago Made It Possible" on Tuesday, October 24, 2018 at PianoForte Studios. 

Vienna Museum Director Matti Bunzl and University of Illinois Professor and renowned Beethoven expert Bill Kinderman host an evening of music, conversation and celebration. Prof. Kinderman will be speaking and performing Beethoven's "Tempest" Sonata, op. 31 no. 2, one of the famous works Beethoven wrote while in seclusion in Heiligenstadt in 1802, in the house where the new museum is located.

Kinderman worked with Vienna Museum curators to create an exhibition that honors one of the most important moments in the history of western music–Beethoven's seclusion at Heiligenstadt–and its impact.

Prof. Kinderman will speak and perform again during the muilti-day opening ceremonies. Joining him in attendance will be emeritus professors Ed Rath and Fred Stoltzfus. Prof. Kinderman is also editor of a book coordinated with the new museum, on "Beethoven's 'Empire of the Mind'," which will be published by the time of the museum's opening in November. This book contains not only essays by Kinderman but by other leading figures in the music world, including Sir John Eliot Gardiner. 

In addition to the contributions of the American Friends of the Vienna Museum, the University of Illinois, through a grant by the College of Fine and Applied Arts, has assisted with funding this project. Overall the project has a budget of more than a million Euros administered through the Wien-Museum, whose current director, Matti Bunzl, was formerly a U of I faculty member and formerly Artistic Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival. The Wien-Museum is a collection of 18 historical and cultural locations located throughout the city of Vienna. 

Article in Vienna's "Die Presse" (In German) | English Translation

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