There is Beethoven Street in Ljubljana – but do you know why?
Although there is no historical evidence he was in Ljubljana, famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) became an honorary member of the Ljubljana Philharmonic Society in 1819. The National and University Library (NUK) in Ljubljana keeps a transcript of the Pastoral Symphony, with Beethoven’s own hand corrections.
In a letter dated 4 May 1819, Ludwig van Beethoven came into contact with Ljubljana and the representatives of the city’s rich musical scene of that time.
He warmly thanked for the diploma on his election as an honorary member of the Ljubljana Philharmonic Society, which was presented to him on March 15 of the same year in Vienna. In his gratitude, Beethoven sent a copy of his still unpublished Pastoral Symphony (Symphony in F major, opus 68), with his own corrections.
Today, Beethoven’s gratitude letter to Ljubljana Philharmonic Society is kept in the Beethoven archive in Bonn, Germany.
In his letter Beethoven wrote that he can appreciate the recognition for his trifling merits in musical art, acknowledged to him by the Ljubljana Philharmonic Society by this honouring.
Friendship with many Slovenes
It is also less known that Beethoven was associated with many artists of Slovenian descent – pianist Maria Leopoldina Pachler Košak, violinist Ignaz Zupančič (Ignaz Schuppanzigh), composer Jurij Mihevec and others.
In 2020, the world was celebrating the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth. On this occasion TV Slovenia prepared a special documentary-feature film ‘Secrets from Beethoven Street‘, which presented interesting and little-known connections between Beethoven and Slovenia.