Newly Discovered Beethoven Song to be Unveiled at Beethoven Festival: LOVE, 9/7

By: Sep. 04, 2013

The International Beethoven Project, led by President and Artistic DirectorGeorge Lepauw, revealed today additional details about its world premiere presentation of a recently discovered Beethoven song for male voice and piano during Beethoven Festival: LOVE 2013-the organization's third annual multidisciplinary festival inspired by the genius of Ludwig van Beethoven, Sept. 7-15, 2013. Entitled "Liebe" or "Ich wiege dich in meinem Arm" (I cradle you in my Arms) Hess 137, the piece will be performed by tenor Dominic Armstrong, and pianist George Lepauw on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. at the LOVE 2013 headquarters, Merit School of Music's Joy Faith Knapp Music Center (38 S. Peoria Street).

"Liebe" was lost since 1822, and known only by a scrawling of its first line in a price list sent by Beethoven to publisher C.F. Peters. The poem the song was based upon was located by The Unheard Beethoven Project Director Mark S. Zimmer, and the musical sketches by Beethoven were found by the organization's Musical Director Willem Holsbergen, who completed a realization of the sketch materials. Originally written by Beethoven in about 1797, the work has eluded music scholars for nearly two centuries until its rediscovery this summer.

"Liebe" is one of 37 world premieres and six Chicago premieres in this year's diverse Beethoven Festival lineup, with 100+ events spanning from Bach to The Beatles, new classical and rock commissions, visual art, fashion, literature and education. Throughout the festival, acclaimed Chicago artists such as Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Lincoln Trio, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, pianistAnthony Molinaro and GRAMMY Award-winning harmonicist Howard Levy will be featured alongside international talent from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerlandand the United Kingdom. Programming for LOVE 2013 uses Beethoven's letters to the Immortal Beloved as a thematic inspiration and jumping-off point to explore contemporary and evolving issues of passion, romance and relationships.

General admission and VIP tickets for Beethoven Festival: LOVE 2013 are on sale now. One-day festival passes begin at $30; five-day VIP passes are $275 and include prime reserved seating at performances. Free admission will be offered on an as-available basis to students with ID and proof of social media posting about LOVE 2013 onFacebook and/or Twitter (#notjustbeethoven). Additional International Beethoven Project membership packages, including an all-access festival pass and additional VIP experiences, begin at $300. Single tickets for the Masquerade of LOVE opening night ball begin at $75. To purchase tickets or for more information, please call 312-772-5821 or

About "Liebe" or Hess 137

This Beethoven love song was lost since 1822, and known only by a scrawling of its first line in a price list sent by Beethoven to publisher C.F. Peters. Alan Tyson transcribed the price list in an article published in Beethoven Studies in Honor of Elliot Forbes. "Liebe" was listed amongst several other known songs. Until Tyson's transcription, Beethoven's utterly illegible handwriting had led previous researchers to look for a song with the comical - and incorrect - title "Ich schwinge dich in meinen Dom" (I swing you in my Cathedral), leading to the continued mystery of this work. Since Beethoven was offering the song for sale in 1822, it was obviously in a state he felt was close enough to final that he could list it as something available for sale. That turned out to be correct. The lyrics, based on a pastoral poem by Friedrich Wilhelm August Schmidt, are complete, the vocal line of the through-composed song is very nearly complete, but the piano accompaniment is rather fragmentary. Willem Holsbergen of The Unheard Beethoven has been able to render the most striking completion of the piece, which premieres at Beethoven Festival: LOVE 2013.

About the International Beethoven Project and Beethoven Festival

The International Beethoven Project, a Chicago-based non-profit, is dedicated to the promotion of revolutionary culture, inspired by the music and life of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-­1827), one of the most ground­breaking artists of all time. Its mission is accomplished through the presentation of an annual Beethoven Festival, concerts, mixed­-media exhibits, lectures, the production of recordings and films, the commissioning of new music and art, publications and educational outreach in schools and universities as well as in non­traditional venues. The unconventional and multidisciplinary Beethoven Festival was inspired by concert pianist and Founding Artistic Director George Lepauw's cultural explorations of Paris, London, Beijing and New York. The inaugural festival in 2011 presented 25 concerts over five days in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood; last year, it grew to over 60 events spanning nine days, based out of the Uptown neighborhood. This year's festival headquartered in the West Loop neighborhood will feature over 100 events spanning classical and new music, visual art, fashion, literature and education. Beethoven's vision of humanity, justice and "brotherhood" inspires us to build a better world through music and art, continuing the dialogue that is necessary between past, present and future generations of artists in order for culture and civilization to flourish. For more information, visit

About The Unheard Beethoven

The Unheard Beethoven,, is a nonprofit website established in 1999 by a Wisconsin tax attorney, Mark S. Zimmer, and a Dutch composer, Willem Holsbergen, lifelong Beethoven devotees who met over the Internet. Since then, they have brought hundreds of previously unheard Beethoven compositions to the public by providing free downloads of synthesized versions of his many unpublished and unrecorded pieces. Currently, the website has over sixteen hours of music that is available nowhere else. In 2001, the site was brought to international attention by Holsbergen's realization of Beethoven's sketches for the overture to a planned opera on Shakespeare'sMacbeth, which was premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. Numerous artists have worked with them to make the Unheard compositions of Beethoven heard, including violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist Steven Beck, the Covington String Quartet as well as conductors Stefan Sanderling and Roberto Diem Tigani. They have also collaborated in the preparation of the New Hess Catalog of Beethoven's works, edited by James F. Green, and with Paul Reid, author of The Beethoven Song Companion. Noted Beethoven scholars Reid and Barry Cooper recently joined The Unheard Beethoven as contributing authors.

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