Beethoven Festival

Summary Info Festival StoryFestival EventsOther SourcesPractical Info

Country and Region AustraliaSouth Australia
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Festival Contact Information

Adelaide Festival Centre
GPO 1269
Adelaide, SA 5001
Phone: +61 8216-8600

Festival Description

After the phenomenal success of the 2008 Festival the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Australian Youth Orchestra are proud to present The 2009 Beethoven Festival, in association with the State Opera of South Australia. In 2009 the Australian Youth Orchestra will reunite with Grammy-award winning conductor John Nelson and international piano sensation Herbert Schuch to complete the Beethoven Cycle of symphonies and piano concertos in the Festival Theatre from 23 - 25 July.

Conductor John Nelson (USA) is one of the world’s most versatile and accomplished conductors and has conducted orchestras the world over. “John Nelson inspired his young charges with unbounded enthusiasm to extract the very best performance out of every one.” Independent Weekly (Beethoven Festival 2008).

European soloist Herbert Schuch (Germany) is one of the most talented pianists of his generation, having won three international piano competitions in a single year, the Casagrande Competition in Italy, the London International Piano Competition and the International Beethoven Competition in Vienna. “Herbert Schuch was able to give it [Concerto No. 4 in G] an interpretation of white-hot emotional intensity coupled with pure, limpid classical tone qualities, a rare combination that proved utterly compelling.” The Advertiser (Beethoven Festival 2008).

The Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) has a reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious and innovative training organisations and its flagship ensemble, which regularly tours internationally is recognised as one of the country’s finest. Each year the best young musicians under 25 are selected from nearly 1000 applicants in auditions held across the country.

The Festival culminates with Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 9 featuring the chorus and soloists from the State Opera of South Australia, including Aivale Cole, Elizabeth Campbell, Henry Choo & Douglas McNicol, joined by Chorus Master Timothy Sexton and members of the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus in what promises to be an unforgettable finale for the Beethoven series of concerts.

Festival Dates July 23 - 25, 2009
Festival Links;=181673

Festival Story:

Founded in 1948, Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) has attained an international reputation for its innovative and comprehensive training organisations. The organisation is most widely known through its flagship ensemble, the Australian Youth Orchestra, which regularly tours internationally and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007 with a seventh European tour, including performances in France, Germany and The Netherlands. The orchestra comprises musicians aged 25 years and under, from all across Australia.

Born in Bonn, Germany, Ludwig van Beethoven was an important figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music and remains one of the most famous and influential musicians of all time. Beethoven suffered from gradual hearing loss beginning in his twenties. He nonetheless continued to compose masterpieces and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf. It is this genius that makes Beethoven’s work all the more extraordinary.


Festival Events:

Programming 2009:
  • The following works will be performed at this year’s Festival
    • Thursday 23 July
      Symphony No.1 in C major, Op.21
      Piano Concerto No.2 in B♭ major, Op.19
      Symphony No.6 in F major, Op.68, Pastoral
    • Friday 24 July
      Symphony No.2 in D major, Op.36
      Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37
      Symphony No.7 in A major, Op. 92
    • Saturday 25 July
      Symphony No.8 in F Major, Op.93
      Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125, Choral
Additional programming 2009:
  • FREE pre-performance talks will be presented by Timothy Sexton and held at 7:00pm in the Piano Bar on each of the three nights.
  • Visual art exhibitions on display in the Festival Theatre foyer will include reproductions of music scores, manuscripts and books from the collections of the Ira F. Brilliant Centre for Beethoven Studies, San José State University (California).


Other Sources:

Want more? Click on a color — travel and explore.  


Practical Info:

Tickets 2009:
  • Prices
    • Premium $75
    • Adults $60/$45/$30
    • Concession $54/$39/$25
    • Groups (6+) $50/$35/$20
  • Bookings
    • BASS
      Within Australia: 131 246
      International: +61-8-8205-2300
    • Online at


Do you have an update or more information about this festival? Email us at
Start or join a conversation about this festival in the Forum.