This is the tenth time that Beethoven's birthplace has been immersed in a musical world for a whole seven days, bringing together his legacy and the outstanding talents of upcoming artists from all over the world in one place.
At the International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn, the slogan „Connecting Your World“ is not only lived by the 28 selected participants in the spotlight - from the first planning step to the realisation, different teams work to bring the ITBCB to life. The event week will be ceremoniously opened with the Welcome Concert with Hans Suh and will initially extend over the first two rounds of the competition. This will be followed by the semi-finals and the two final rounds: The chamber music final and the orchestral final. In the latter, the finalists perform together with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, conducted by Dirk Kaftan. The prizewinners' matinée concludes the programme.
Such an eventful week of a special kind offers many opportunities for musical magic on stage - but who is actually performing the magic behind the scenes?
Behind the stage – the first two rounds
In a production of this size, many important cogs interlock. After months of preparation, it is essential to ensure that everything runs smoothly, especially on the concert days themselves. Immediately behind the stage, the production management keeps track of everything. The ITBCB team also provides the artists with comprehensive support in the final moments before they go on stage.
Being up close and personal worldwide
As soon as the pianists enter the stage, the video team is working at maximum capacity. In order to allow a global audience to participate in the performances, the competition will be streamed live. During the first two rounds, viewers will even have the opportunity to make a contribution themselves via online voting and support their favourites. You can also browse the media library afterwards. And what would the 2023 edition be without social media? The Telekom Beethoven Competition Instagram channel will be managed by a social media team for the entire duration.
Ensuring the perfect tune
He also works behind the scenes and is of inestimable value: the piano technician. In order to realise the shows flawlessly and at a high level, the Steinway grand piano is fully taken care of. This is customised to the needs of the artists and guarantees a first-class sound experience for the jury and audience.
The jury, which under its president Pavel Gililov judges the performances of the participants from round to round, is also high-calibre. Its ranks include musicians who have achieved milestones in their careers through competition successes. A small, separate backstage area offers them the peace and quiet they need to face the difficult decisions.
Put in the spotlight
In addition to the media attention during the concerts, audiovisual preparations also take place away from the stage. In order to perfectly round off the orchestra final programme in the media, introductory videos are made with the finalists.
Once again this year, a special cooperation should be emphasised. Students from the Cologne Institute of Musicology will be able to follow the production and press work up close and personal and also design this year's blog themselves.
The grand final
The orchestral final, which is also the highlight of the competition, will once again be of the highest quality in the anniversary edition. In addition to the show in the Telekom Forum, a professional livestream broadcast will be realised. While cameras in the hall capture the atmosphere, simultaneous editing will take place in the control room in order to provide recipients all over the world with a brilliant concert experience on their screens at home.
A journey comes to an end
After a long period of preparation under the project management of Jonas Nachtsheim and his project colleague Henrike Alscher, all the important threads come together in one place during this week in December. For 7 days, 83 employees bring over 44 hours of music to Bonn. This year, Caleb Borick is the star of the show on stage - and all those involved in the ITBCB team backstage deserve a thunderous round of applause as well.
Text: Kira Kleinjung