Corresponding to our video series “Discovering Music” we talked with some artists about their relationship to Ludwig van Beethoven. What makes the composer and pianist so topical today?

Some of the musicians listed here will be performing in the anniversary year 2020 in Bonn and will present their new programs, which contain a reference to the visionary and sound artist Beethoven.

What would Beethoven’s life sound like?

Once a year Iiro Rantala is a guest on a radio show in his home country Finland. People call him there, tell a story from their lives – and Iiro Rantala sets it to music live in the studio. What would it sound like if Ludwig van Beethoven called him?   https://youtu.be/3hgIaNQLMmU

Was jazz invented in Germany?

“Jazz was invented in Germany,” says Iiro Rantala. More precisely, in Leipzig almost 300 years ago.

Every morning Bach?

Iiro Rantala is an internationally networked jazz pianist with a great preference for classical music. Every day begins with Bach.  

What does “creativity” mean in music?

The American jazz pianist Jason Moran is distinguished by his creative, profound approach to musical tradition. He says of himself: “I am a modern pianist, not a pioneer, not an avant-gardist. I charge old things with new ideas.” But what distinguishes creativity in a contemporary musical language?

How important are the “great composers” for creative music today?

Jason Moran is one of the most important jazz pianists of our time. But for him his solo concert in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House was something very special. Why? Because, in his opinion, we learn a lot about the “how” in music in and through our encounter with the “great composers”. […]

Always the same 12 tones …

The Grammy winner Joe Lovano is a titanium on the tenor saxophone. As a musician and composer, he collaborates with jazz colleagues and classical orchestras.  

Are interpretation and improvisation two sides of the same coin?

... we ask Richie Beirach Richie Beirach is one of the greatest and most active jazz pianists of our time. Born in Brooklyn/New York in the 1940s, he devoted himself exclusively to classical music until the age of 13. It was only then that he discovered jazz and became a pioneer of improvisation and energetic [...]

Is it possible to improvise over a piece by Beethoven?

... we ask Richie Beirach Richie Beirach is one of the greatest and most active jazz pianists of our time. Born in Brooklyn/New York in the 1940s, he devoted himself exclusively to classical music until the age of 13. It was only then that he discovered jazz and became a pioneer of improvisation and energetic [...]