To kickstart the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we look at 250 reasons to celebrate the trailblazing composer, from his triumphant premieres to his personal tragedies and everything in between. Investigating the politics of representation and access in the world of classical music, Andrew Stewart reports on the success of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain’s peer-to-peer mentorship scheme, while Richard Morrison examines the personal and political struggles faced by Beethoven in his own time.


Also this issue, Natasha Loges explores the work of Johannes Brahms, his musical influences and his friendship with the Schumanns. Tom Service meets the inimitable conductor Roger Norrington to discuss his pioneering recordings of the Beethoven symphonies. Plus, we take a peek at the death masks of some of history’s most famous composers, and we name the finest recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. This month’s cover CD features Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh Symphonies.


Click the image below to download the inlay for this month's free cover CD.

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Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.