Ludwig van Beethoven

Press Release, August 19, 1796

After his latest tour of Prague, Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin, Beethoven is back in his adopted home of Vienna. The composer says he's glad to be home.

After spending over half his young life performing and creating some of the most moving music the world has yet known, Ludwig, 26, deserves a rest. "I'm not naturally much of a traveller," he says, "but in this line of work you have to learn, and qvickly."

Musical ability has run in his family for generations--Beethoven's father and grandfather were both Kapellmeister  of Bonn, and were highly respected musicians. Beethoven's own proclivity, however, is for composing music with mass appeal.

How does he feel about the world's steady trend away from Romanticism and towards Abstract-expressionism and Realism? "It's all about expression, the outvard manifestation of the beauty and torment of the human soul," he explains. "Und you don't need to call yourself a realist to be real."

And indeed, who could be more real than Ludwig in the world of music? No single Romantic composer looms as large in the human psyche, nor evokes such violent reactions from his listeners. A friend of Beethoven's was recently overheard to say, upon leaving the concert hall where the master had conducted his famous 7th symphony, "I went to put my hat on, but I couldn't find my head."