Two iconic composers sparked movements in the music world, ringing in a spectacular duet of anniversaries that were celebrated in 2020.
Vienna, Austria: Beethoven’s Second Home
The year 2020 marked the 250th anniversary (WienBeethoven2020) of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth and his impact on music. He was officially baptized on December 17, 1770, in Bonn, Germany along the Rhine River, though he was likely born a day or two earlier.
The musical genius’s most famous works continue to transcend time and culture. Defying the odds of his foreboding future of complete hearing loss, he still managed to compose some of his greatest works, including his renowned Fifth Symphony.
For 35 years, Beethoven made his home in Vienna, Austria, which you can visit during your Romantic Danube, Melodies of the Danube, Legendary Danube, Blue Danube Discovery, Magnificent Europe, Grand Danube Cruise, Iconic Christmas Markets, or Christmas Markets on the Danube river cruise, as well as during an optional Vienna land package as part of your Gems of Southeast Europe journey.
Strolling the city’s streets, you can see notes of Beethoven’s past through various landmarks, from memorial plaques to museums. Imagine visiting Theater an der Wien, a cherished historic theatre venue that hosted Beethoven’s first opera performance of Fidelio. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the rich melodies of this classic opera piece. And on board many of our Danube and Rhine River itineraries, you can behold performances by local string trio La Strada as they occasionally play some of Beethoven’s works.