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Montreal’s classical music scene honours Beethoven on what would have been his 250th birthday

Members of the OSM at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal. File: Tim Sargeant/Global News

Music lovers around the world have reason to celebrate tonight, even if a global health pandemic has forced many into quarantine or precluded orchestras to perform before live audiences: Ludwig van Beethoven would have been 250 today.

Or at least, he was baptized on Dec. 16, 1770, the closest record to his actual birthday.

Radio stations, orchestras, fans of classical music and many others are recognizing the composer’s genius by playing or listening to Beethoven’s pieces.

Read more: Coronavirus: Montreal Symphony Orchestra maestro Kent Nagano, family self-isolated in Paris

The prolific music writer was born in Bonn, Germany and died at the age of 56 in Vienna, Austria. But during his life, the composer left the world with musical scores that dominated the global art scene for two and half centuries.

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Beethoven’s music has had a profound impact on many other musicians and ordinary people around the world.

“I think it’s so much the tremendous rhythmical vitality. I think that’s a very important part of his music. Nobody quite wrote the way he did with rhythms and syncopations and accents that give his music a tremendous amount of life and verve,” William Caplin, a music professor at The Schulich School of Music of McGill University, told Global News.

The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) under former musical director, Kent Nagano, has performed all nine symphonies of Beethoven and on Jan. 12, the OSM will webcast a recent recording of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony for 14 days.

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