BBC Sounds: The Business of Beethoven

“Beethoven’s arms were bigger than the piano” says concert pianist Stephen Hough at his Steinway. “I sense him pushing at every moment – as if he’s in a cage saying ‘Let me out’”.

To mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 2020, Clemmie Burton-Hill looks, not at Beethoven the composer, but at a little-known aspect of the composer’s life, Beethoven the entrepreneur.
In the company of some of the foremost Beethoven proponents – pianist Stephen Hough, violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniel Hope and jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Clemmie investigates how Beethoven pushed and cajoled music publishers, music printers and piano makers to turn convention on its head and create a music “industry”.
Could he even have invented the gig economy?!

The programme was made in collaboration with the US radio stations WNYC and WQXR

Producer: Adele Armstrong

Listen: Play

Source: BBC Music Matters

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