Dear Friends of the Telekom Beethoven Competition,
Next year, and sooner than we might expect: The 8th International Telekom Beethoven Competition will take place in Bonn in the period December 6-14, 2019. At two-year intervals beginning in 2005, we have been inviting young piano virtuosos from around the world to come and take part in this event. And our young invitees welcome the opportunity to present their artistry and measure themselves musically against their peers.
One important reason why we hold this competition is to discover new artists who can thrill us with their talent – and inspire and move us. This orientation is very much in the spirit of Beethoven himself, whose music has a virtually unparalleled capacity to inspire and move. We also want to welcome young artists who unsettle us. Who make us question our own dearly held notions about Beethoven's music – about what it means and how it should be played. And we want to promote the careers of our invitees. This is why we give them the opportunity to show off their artistry to respected jurors, to media representatives and to a wide audience of music lovers.
But such a music competition does more than highlight promising new talents and offer them a stage. It also showcases the city in which it takes place. This competition spotlights Bonn as a cosmopolitan, diverse and friendly city, as a place where pianists and music lovers from around the world can come together and create something wonderful together – an international cultural experience of the first rank.
A considerable number of Bonn's citizens come into contact with the young artists in an especially rewarding and enriching way. They welcome the young artists into their homes for the duration of their stay in Bonn. I would like to take this opportunity now to warmly thank those in Bonn who are planning to make such a commitment.
Most importantly, the competition provides an intensive, rewarding experience for the young pianists themselves. And this includes those who fail to capture one of the prizes. They, too, will experience other young virtuosos and have the chance to compare themselves with them.
Music is not an art that is somehow reserved for elites. Music belongs to all of us, and it has never been easier to find than it is now. We can enjoy it live in concert halls. And, with our modern communication devices, we can enjoy it anywhere else, too – at home or while we are on the go. Please note that the 8th Beethoven Competition, like the last edition, will be streamed live on the Internet, meaning that anyone and everyone can enjoy its concerts.
I am certain that all those who participate in the International Telekom Beethoven Competition – regardless of whether or not they win a prize – will find that the Competition helps launch them on a successful international music career.
Together with all Bonners, we are already looking forward to a high-class competition, an event that will also inaugurate a special Ludwig van Beethoven year – the year of the 250th anniversary of his birth.