Beethoven's Immortal Beloved

Cover of Jessica Duchen's book "Immortal" depicting Beethoven walking alone in a rural setting.

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Exploring a mystery in words and music.

This event takes place in the British Library Theatre.

The identity of the unnamed 'Immortal Beloved', to whom Beethoven wrote a love letter in 1812, has been so well protected that she remains a mystery to this day – or almost. Until the late 20th century, the significance of one candidate was virtually wiped from history. Could this be her? In her latest novel, Immortal, author and music critic Jessica Duchen explores the tragic history of this extraordinary woman, and what appears to be her long influence on Beethoven and his music.

This narrated concert with music performed by Viv McLean brings a heart-breaking love story to life while demonstrating its heroine's enduring presence in Beethoven's works.

Jessica Duchen writes for and about music, her work ranging through journalism, books, opera librettos and concert dramas. She contributes to The Sunday Times, the i and BBC Music Magazine, among others. Her stage works include the libretto for Roxanna Panufnik’s Silver Birch for Garsington Opera, shortlisted for an International Opera Award 2018. She is the author of seven novels (‘Captivating’ – BBC Music Magazine on Immortal) and biographies of Korngold and Fauré. Her narrated concerts and concert dramas have been commissioned by venues and festivals in Britain, France and Australia. Forthcoming works include a new opera with Panufnik, Dalia, for Garsington 2022.

Viv McLean won first prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona and has performed in all the major venues in the UK, as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. He has appeared at festivals including the International Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the Festival des Saintes in France, Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Cheltenham International Festival in the UK, and has recorded for Sony Classical Japan, Naxos, Nimbus and RPO Records. Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 as well as for radio in Germany, France, Australia, Norway and Poland. ‘Viv McLean revealed extraordinary originality, superb simplicity, and muscles of steel hidden by fingers of velvet.’ Le Monde (Paris).

This event accompanies the exhibition Beethoven: Idealist. Innovator. Icon.

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Name: Beethoven's Immortal Beloved
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £15.00
Member: £0.00
Student: £7.50
Registered Unemployed: £7.50
Disabled: £7.50
Senior (60+): £13.00
Young Person (18-25): £7.50
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546