Multi-Annual Project

What radical changes in music will characterize the 21st century? How will music be composed, and how will it interact with new technologies? What will become of classical music in a globalised world? On the occasion of the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), one of the most innovative and influential composers of his epoch, the #bebeethoven project invites twelve young artists to explore such questions by developing, testing and presenting artistic experiments and projects. Their works are meant to give new impulses and starting points to new musical ideas, approaches, and formats.

Beethoven radically developed artistic formats such as the symphony and chamber music, paving the way to a new, Romantic musical language. Supported by the bourgeoisie and thus independent of more conservative court structures, he represented a new kind of music business model, and was able to stay overtly politically engaged in his life and music. In this way, Beethoven has, like no other musician of his time, influenced many future generations of artists.

Today, in a time of great technological, cultural, and social upheavals, completely new artistic ideas, approaches, and formats are very much needed in music and art. As an answer to this challenge, the multi annual #bebeethoven project provides support to twelve artistic fellows to explore central areas of music creation such as composition, concert design, interpretation, music & technology, performance, and Outernational music. Project lead PODIUM Esslingen and six renowned partners – CTM Festival, Ensemble Resonance, Operadagen Rotterdam, Radialsystem V, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and ZKM Karlsruhe – each attend to their chosen fellows in experimenting with new ideas, technologies and in developing aesthetic innovations. For example, CTM Festival has invited Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst to become fellows. The duo will research and develop ideas on how to expand the human voice with future technology, and actively push forward critical discourse reflecting the implications of such technologies.

The #bebeethoven project will be continuously documented via a dedicated website – – and concerts will presented live by the different project partners. In the year 2020, a large finale festival will take place in Esslingen and Bonn.

Partners & Funders

A project by PODIUM Esslingen in collaboration with CTM Festival, Ensemble Resonance, Operadagen Rotterdam, Radialsystem V, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and ZKM Karlsruhe.

Funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, with additional support from the province of Baden-Württemberg, the Baden-Württemberg Foundation, and L-Bank.