How experimental were Ludwig van Beethoven and his contemporaries, music theoretician Anton Reicha and physicist Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni, and what artistic experiments were triggered by how they were received? How do young composers in the 21st century compose and how do they reflect on the godlike figure that is Beethoven, to whom an entire year of anniversary events has been dedicated?
With "Labor Beethoven 2020", the Akademie der Künste presents a contemporary reading of the Beethoven Anniversary focusing on experimentation. A festival condenses the musical and interdisciplinary results of the four-year artistic cooperation by a group of young composers from the three universities of Basel, Tel Aviv and Thessaloniki. Together with historical and current experiments by Beethoven and Reicha as well as guests such as the Novoflot opera company, electronic composer Marcus Schmickler, sound artist Werner Cee and Beethoven expert William Kinderman, a kaleidoscope of concerts, experiments in sound and perception, lecture performances and music theatre are to be staged. Visitors can let themselves drift between the interwoven elements. There will be original works by Beethoven such as "The Tempest sonata" as well as the deconstructions of "Fidelio" (Novoflot) and "Pastoral" (Cee). World première compositions, mediated by an exhibition and discursive elements, link the experimental spirit of the period around 1802 to current issues in composing regarding space, instrumentation and form.
Over four years, "Labor Beethoven" offered international composers, musicians and artists from Basel, Tel Aviv and Thessaloniki an open forum for artistic exchange and experimentation, allowing them to develop their own ideas for compositional works, new forms of work, formats and collaborations. Over the course of the festival, the participants in the laboratory and their guests will present the different facets of their work in several concerts and performances.
"Labor Beethoven" is a project by the Music Section of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and is directed by Caspar Johannes Walter (artistic director, Basel, Akademie der Künste), Dimitri Papageorgiou (Thessaloniki) and Ruben Seroussi (Tel Aviv).