Ludwig van Beethoven, 1819, von Joseph Karl Stieler

Today is Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday. The composer was born in Bonn, Germany, presumably on 16 December 1770 and baptized a day later at the Remigius Church, as shown by the baptismal register. Since the planned festivities were messed up by the corona pandemic, the Beethoven Jubiläums GmbH, which coordinates the programme, is therefore planning two major television and streaming projects on December 16th and 17th, 2020.

In addition, there will be further activities around Beethoven’s birthday.

December 16, 2020 – BeethovenNight

On the occasion of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday on 16 December, General Music Director Dirk Kaftan, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and guests will celebrate the jubilee and the relevance of his music.

The BeethovenNight tells the story of Ludwig van Beethoven’s development in Bonn, the way he dealt with music despite his deafness and presents stars and highlights from classical to pop and asks about the future of music.

  • Free transmission in video livestream via and the platforms of MagentaTV and from 8.30 p.m. (CET)
  • Radio broadcast on WDR3 from 8.04 p.m. (CET)

December 17, 2020 – Anniversary Concert

Pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra perform Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto and his Symphony No. 5.

  • Free transmission on TV on 3sat from 8.15 p.m. (CET),on WDR television from 10.15 p.m. (CET) and on affiliated EBU stations; on WDR 3, ARD and EBU radio from 8.15 p.m. (CET)
  • Online streaming via,, Deutsche Welle and via affiliated media partners from 8.15 p.m. (CET)

German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will give the ceremonial address. Violinist Daniel Hope, president of the Beethoven-Haus, will lead through the evening as presenter.

  • Pizzicato

  • Archives