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Introduction to “Beethoven: The Grand Festival”

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

What does a competition do when it’s on its off year? Do I just go on break? (I wish!)

It’s so easy to be a competition that just focuses on the event of competing, but we at IIPC want to be more than just that. As we aim and hope to be one of the leading competitions in Indonesia and the Southeast Asia region, we want to do more for the community through our projects. We believe that excellence in music should always be cultivated, and through our projects, we’re hoping to foster a community where we can share experiences (both good and bad!) about music and music education.

We know that it is very difficult to be original this year, because just like everyone else in the whole wide world this year, we are celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday! But why should we want to be original, when Beethoven is at stake? This worldwide celebration is ongoing all year long in 2020, but more than just celebrating his music, we also want to focus on who he is as a person, musician, and composer. All of this talk about classical music tradition sometimes makes us forget that he was also *just* a human being. Of course he was a great artist with pieces of music that will last forever, but we focus so much on it that we don’t really get to know the person behind the notes.

Through discussions, lectures, and other activities, on top of performances (of course, duh!), we hope that we can celebrate not only Beethoven’s music but what does it mean for us to be connected to tradition, how we in the 21st century are both living in the future and in the past, and what connects all of us through classical music — regardless of whether you are a professional musician, a music student, a parent whose kids are taking music lessons, or someone who just got into listening to classical music and wants to learn more.

Classical music usually gets a bad rep because it’s ‘art’, and people are supposed to understand it already when they sit down on those seats in the dark.

I hated that idea, and I hated that experience when I was younger and learning, because I feel so disconnected to what’s happening. Here I am, spending 1.5 to 2 hours of my day sitting quietly in the dark, feeling stupid.  I don’t know what the people on the stage are thinking, I don’t know what the music is about, I don’t know what to listen for, and so, why should I even care about the things that I don’t know or understand?

Through this project, we want to change that notion of classical music. With the help of Beethoven and celebrating his 250th birthday, we wanted to create an experience that encompasses every aspect of music … not only just the act of appreciating music through attending concerts, but how it can apply to our daily lives, what impact does it have in our humanity, and how we can connect and build relationships with each other through music. We want everyone to enjoy the time they spend experiencing music, regardless of where they are in their musical journey — an amateur, a professional, an aficionado, a newbie, even a curious bystander! I believe that music is for everyone, and there is no reason why anyone couldn’t have a meaningful musical experience.

Please subscribe to get more infos on our upcoming events! As I continue to write articles regularly, it would be so fantastic to hear how you all think about our project, about classical music, about music education, about Beethoven and everything else in between! We look forward to seeing you all at our events, and in the meantime, stay musical!

-Edith Widayani

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