Beethoven Monument, Bonn

at Münster Platz, Bonn, 53111 Germany

Beethoven Monument, Bonn
Münster Platz
Bonn 53111


The Beethoven Monument is a large bronze statue of Ludwig van Beethoven that stands on the Münsterplatz in Bonn, Beethoven's birthplace. It was unveiled on 12 August 1845, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the composer's birth.BackgroundCarl Heinrich Breidenstein (1796–1876) was Germany's first professor of musicology. He had held a post at Bonn University since 1823. In 1828 he had first expressed the idea of a monument to Beethoven in his native town. In 1832 he wrote an article suggesting the idea, "or, even better, a living memorial, one dedicated to art, Bildung, education, etc."Up to that time it had not been German or Austrian practice to erect statues of great cultural figures. Friedrich Schiller had to wait until 1839; the first one of Mozart (in Salzburg, Austria) was not unveiled until 1842; and the first one of Beethoven in Vienna, the city he spent most time in, was most associated with, and died in, was not created until 1880.On 17 December 1835, the "Bonn Association for the Beethoven Monument", headed by the famous translator of Shakespeare, August Wilhelm Schlegel, issued a call for a permanent memorial to Beethoven, which was sent to all the principal musical publications in Germany, France, and England. King Ludwig I of Bavaria was enthusiastic, but the response was otherwise not very promising: in Paris, Luigi Cherubini promised a special fund-raising concert but later changed his mind; in London, Beethoven's friend Sir George Smart and Ignaz Moscheles gave a benefit concert at the Drury Lane Theatre, including the Ode to Joy from the Ninth Symphony, but it was poorly attended.

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