Record audiences at Beethovenfest Bonn

Visitor numbers to this year’s Beethovenfest Bonn reached 75,000, the largest ever audience since the festival was re-established in 1999.

The figure is evidence of the festival’s growing popularity, and shows a dramatic increase in sales over the past few years: in 2004, there were 40,000 visitors.

Running from 5 September to 5 October, this year’s festival featured over 152 events: 24 out of the of 67 main programme concerts played to a full house, and the events on the accompanying programme also attracted high audience numbers. The public screening of Beethoven’s Fidelio performed by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie saw an audience of 3,000 congregate in Bonn’s Marktplatz.

The festival featured performances from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Pekka Kuusisto and Ragnhild Hemsing. The final concert was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Harding and featuring soloist Christian Tetzlaff.

Outgoing artistic director Ilona Schmiel, who has been running the festival since 2004, said: ‘I was always concerned with thematic relevance while maintaining the highest artistic standard. Because of continual changes to the framework conditions and social developments, we must remain in constant dialogue with the artists, the audiences, the sponsors and the politicians.’