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105.9WQXR celebrates Beethoven's BIG 2-5-0

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The year 2020 started with massive expectations for the memory of Ludwig van Beethoven, the wild-haired and scowling composer whose cantankerous visage was seemingly at odds with the enduring humanity and optimism of his music. But all of our lives were forced to take a hard left, putting many a plan - Beethoven-graced or otherwise - on indefinite hold. So we wondered: How do we pull off The Big 2-5-0 in the midst of such an incredibly turbulent year?

From Saturday, December 12 through Wednesday, December 16, tune in terrestrially to 105.9 FM or via the WQXR digital stream for Beethoven Immortal, a five-day long exploration of the legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven, during which we'll try to answer one simple question: What does Beethoven mean today?

Anchoring the festivities is Quest for Joy, Marin Alsop's four-part series that takes listeners on a musical and emotional journey towards understanding how the composer's loneliness and longing gave rise to some of his most enduring works.

You'll also be getting a new installment of Black Experience in the Concert Hall with Terrance McKnight, this time joined by pianist Stewart Goodyear and violinist Tai Murray. Together they'll offer new perspectives on the music and the myth of the influential composer.

We're also resurfacing a couple of Beethoven-centric episodes of Clemency Burton-Hill's The Open Ears Project, featuring reflections from McKnight, Wynton Marsalis, and Nicola Benedetti. Plus, a brand new episode with British entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox.

WQXR is proud to partner with a pair of local institutions too: The Metropolitan Opera, which will present an archival recording of Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio; and The New York Philharmonic in Beethoven at the Philharmonic, in which listeners will be treated to the Phil's recordings of Beethoven's symphonies under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Alan Gilbert, and Jaap van Zweden every day at Noon.

And of course Bingo returns for our littlest listeners, with new ways to energize the joyous youth through music and education.