When the young Beethoven arrived in Vienna in 1792, guitar music was enjoying a growing popularity. In just a short time, it developed from a mere accompanying instrument to a fashionable chamber music main feature. It was new and it was hip. Young composers who fit the new image of the guitar were eagerly sought out and could quickly make a name for themselves. Precisely this led Viennese guitarists such as Wenzel Matiegka and Anton Diabelli to cross paths with Joseph Haydn’s talented pupil: Ludwig van Beethoven.
Winner of the Nederlandse Muziekprijs Izhar Elias and his musician friends Zefira Valova and Eva Stegeman are intent on reviving this fresh and youthful image of Beethoven and the guitar. Just as 19th-century composers transcribed works by the promising young Beethoven to guitar, Izhar turned to the composer Tomi Räisänen to translate Beethoven’s music to the 21st century.