The MCO and Patricia Kopatchinskaja's ritual farewell to the idols of culture returns to close – and question – the global celebrations marking 250 years since Beethoven's birth.
This staged concert shrouds Beethoven's Violin Concerto, torn into pieces, in fragments from Cage, Kurtág, Ives, Haydn, Oliveros, Ligeti and Bach. Different eras, different styles collide, heightened by movement and light and set off waves of free association, free from overt narrative but packed with visceral sonic drama. Answered and unanswered questions are raised in this powerful collaboration: what have classical concerts become? And what could they be? But the focus is clear, as Kopatchinskaja has stated: "We don’t want to say goodbye to him... I want to say goodbye to a business that adores only the old monuments."
Bye Bye Beethoven was premiered by the MCO and Kopatchinskaja at the Hamburg International Festival in 2016, and has since been performed by them across Europe and in the United States, where it received its American premiere at the Ojai Festival in 2018.