10 famous Beethoven fans

From British politicians to Spanish sports stars, Beethoven's music draws fans from all corners of the globe

Rafael Nadal

Politicians of all hues seem to like Beethoven, not least Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, who made no secret of his love of the Appassionata Sonata.

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Vladimir Lenin

In the UK, Conservative PM Margaret Thatcher made the ‘Emperor’ Concerto one of her Desert Island Discs choices in 1978.

Margaret Thatcher
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Historia/REX/Shutterstock (7665051ma)
Margaret Hilda Thatcher (nee Roberts) Born 1925 British Prime Minister From 1979 to 1990 c.1980
Historical Collection 153

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he once wrote a key speech listening to the Fifth Symphony.

Jeremy Corbyn

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown told the Financial Times he would like a hi-fi system that ‘would make the cottage bounce to Beethoven’.

Paddy Ashdown

Among sporty types, 1980s England cricket captain Mike Brearley revealed that he hummed a cello passage from the Razumovsky quartets when going into bat.

Mike Brearley

Tennis’s Rafael Nadal named his yacht Beethoven in homage.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal (ESP) def. John Isner (USA) Roland Garros 2011 – mardi 24 mai – 1er tour – Court Philippe Chatrier

Erstwhile Italy football manager Giovanni Trapattoni collected Beethoven LPs in his playing days.

Giovanni Trapattoni

Poet Sylvia Plath made references to Beethoven‘s music in her poems.

Sylvia Plath

TV news anchor John Suchet wrote five books about Beethoven.

John Suchet

Actor Tom Conti once said a dream day would include sitting in on a rehearsal of Symphony No. 9 with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Tom Conti
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Read reviews of the latest Beethoven recordings here