The year we wanted to erase Beethoven

STORY – “Too white, too male, too old…” For his 250 years, the composer will have suffered the double penalty of Covid and “Cancel Culture”.

Should we erase Beethoven? This is not the title of the next show by comedian Gaspard Proust, but the very serious question posed by the independent Cambridge University newspaper, Varsity, on its website on December 25th. Strange Christmas present for a composer whose 250th birthday was being celebrated ten days earlier. Only here, this year 2020, announced as that of the universal coronation of the father of Ninth, did not go quite as planned. And the health crisis is not the only grain of sand to have come to stop the machine.

As if the cancellation of most of the celebrations planned last year (starting with the Beethovenfest in his hometown, Bonn) had not been enough, the musician has indeed been fueling heated debates among our colleagues since this autumn. Anglo-Saxon, on the theme of «too pale, too male, too stale». Understand “Too white, too male and too old”. In short, the composer of Letter to Élise, from Fifth symphony

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