Beethoven: A History

Sat 26 Sep

Saturday, 26 September 2020

6.00pm - 7.00pm

In Conversation | In Venue & Online

Beethoven: A History

Marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, acclaimed poet Ruth Padel and musicologist Laura Tunbridge delve into the history around the composer’s life.

This event has finished, but you can watch it again online at any time until Sunday, 11 October 2020.

Price: FREE
Statue of Ludwig van Beethoven


Ludwig van Beethoven’s music was as astonishing as the times through which he lived. From the French Revolution (1789) to the siege of Vienna (1809), Beethoven witnessed some of Europe’s major historical moments, which would go on to influence many of his most famous works.

In this talk, Ruth Padel reveals the man behind the music, tracing Beethoven's private thoughts through diaries, letters and sketch-books. Meanwhile, Laura Tunbridge provides an alternative history of Beethoven’s career, placing his music in a historical context.

Laura Tunbridge is a Professor of Music at the University of Oxford. She previously taught at the University of Manchester and has written books on the composer Robert Schumann. Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces was published by Viking in July 2020.

Ruth Padel is Professor of Poetry at King’s College London and has published 12 acclaimed poetry collections, including the bestselling Darwin: A Life in Poems and Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth on music, harmony and the Middle East. Her most recent book is Beethoven Variations, a biography of Beethoven through poems. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Date & time

Saturday, 26 September 2020
6.00pm - 7.00pm


Foyle Centre
National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
London SW3 4HT


Online: FREE

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