literature, cinema, fine arts

Beethoven and Hungary

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  • Produced by Müpa Budapest

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When studying the lives and works of great artists from other lands, we Hungarians are always pleased to learn about any links they might have to our small country. In the case of Ludwig van Beethoven, the composer's biography includes numerous such instances. Katalin Kim and Pál Horváth, the two music historians putting together Müpa Budapest's exhibition on the subject, are presenting all the relevant information - with historical accuracy based on the most recent research and in a colourful and entertaining fashion - regarding connections between Hungary and the German composer's music, as well as its reception here.

The exhibition sheds light on the Hungarian role in the early Beethoven cult, which included the patronage of aristocratic families like the Esterházys and Brunszviks. The friendship between Beethoven and the Brunszviks and the role of the town of Martonvásár, today one of the Hungarian shrines to the memory of the great genius, will also be treated in the material. Also included will be documentation of Beethoven's famous appearance in the Court Theatre of Buda on 7 May 1800. Beethoven also dedicated some of his works to his noble Hungarian patrons, as the title pages of the scores attest. Another point of connection between Hungary and the composer's artistic career is the incidental music that he wrote for August von Kotzebue's drama King Stephen, which was premièred at the 1812 inauguration of the Royal City Theatre of Pest. Also documenting the relationship between Beethoven and Hungary are the first performances in this country of important works of his - Fidelio and the Ninth Symphony - and the Beethoven repertoire of such an important ensemble as the Budapest Philharmonic Society Orchestra. This richly illustrated exhibition at Müpa Budapest offers interesting information about all this and much more.

Assembled by Katalin Kim and Pál Horváth.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest

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