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Beethoven and the City of Bonn

There were a lot of people who were called geniuses in different spheres of human activity. When music is concerned, probably, the first name that leaps into one’s mind is Ludwig Van Beethoven, a composer, and pianist whose works and memory have been living for many centuries already. Such prominent and unique people as Beethoven leave a permanent mark everywhere where they stay. It concerns geographical places as well. Bonn was the town that gave birth to the man of genius and made an influence on him. In his turn, the composer left a permanent mark on the image of the town as the fact that he spent his early years in this town always attracted music worshippers to Bonn.

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First, it is necessary to throw light on the importance of Bonn for the composer. No doubt, it was a special place for him since it was his hometown, the town that heard the first cry of a newly born Ludwig. As t is stated by Cooper (2008), “the family surrounding … provided a sound if not ideal environment for a young composer. So, too, did the city of Bonn” (p. 2). In fact, the composer himself once said about his home town that it was “a small unimportant town” (Cooper, 2008, p. 2). He meant that he had achieved everything he had due to his efforts only. This idea is only partially correct. In fact, Bonn was the official seat of the Archbishop Elector of Cologne along with the court that gave artists a perfect chance to get patronage. This is why Bonn provided the young genius with financial support. In fact, Bonn was the center of the Enlightenment (Kinderman, 1995, p. 15). This was the place where he met his first patron, Maximilian Friedrich (Clive, 2001, p. 230). Besides, Bonn was the town where young Beethoven met his first music teacher after his father, Gilles van den Eeden (Clive, 2001, p. xv). Thus, Bonn gave the composer a start in life. The place where Beethoven composed numerous songs, three piano sonatas, piano variations, concertos, and cantatas could not be insignificant for him (Stanley, 2000, p. 8).

In fact, Beethoven paid his debt to his hometown if he had any. The fact that Bonn is the birthplace of genius makes it “a place of pilgrimage” of music worshippers from all over the world. Bonners think that one cannot visit Bonn without knowing that “Beethoven and Bonn are connected”. Beethoven’s memory has been worshiped in Bonn, it is the city where the anniversaries of his birth are celebrated “by stirring performances of Beethoven’s masterpieces” that gather admirers “from all over the world” (Breuning, Solomon, & Mins, 1995, p.17). Now the Beethoven Festival is held every two years in Beethovenhalle, a concert hall that is famous for its acoustics (The Bonn Guidebook, 2009, p. 5).

It can be stated with certainty that the development of the city image, architecture, and landscape of Bonn is greatly influenced by Beethoven’s invention now. The first place every guide will recommend you when visiting Bonn is a museum devoted to Beethoven memorabilia (Castle, 1999, p. 45). There is the statue of the composer in the center of the town along with many other memorials to the immortal genius. As for the architecture of the town, the patterns of the beginning of the nineteenth century prevail as if everyone tried to keep the moment when Beethoven lived here.

To conclude, let us state that the city of Bonn has successfully performed its mission of giving birth and upbringing to the musical genius. This is why nowadays it is the place of pilgrimage of all admirers of Beethoven’s talent.


Beethoven. 2010, Web.

Breuning, G.V., Solomon, M., & Mins H. (1995). Memories of Beethoven: From the House of the Black-robed Spaniards. NY: Cambridge University Press.

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Castle, A. (1999). Walking the River Rhine Trail, Germany. UK: Cicerone Press Limited.

Clive, H.P. (2001). Beethoven and His World: A Biographical Dictionary. NY: Oxford University Press.

Cooper, B. (2008). Beethoven. NY: Oxford University Press.

Kinderman, W. (1995). Beethoven. LA: University of California Press.

Stanley, G. (2000). The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven. UK: Cambridge University Press.

The Bonn, Germany Program Guidebook. 2010. Web.

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