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History of the Society


The Beethoven-Haus Society in Bonn - some important dates

24 February 1889
Twelve citizens of Bonn found the Beethoven-Haus Society. Its goal is to acquire and restore the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven. The Beethoven-Haus is established as memorial.
Honorary members include: Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann, Giuseppe Verdi.

Spring 1890
The first chamber music festival under the direction of the honorary president Joseph Joachim is an overwhelming success. At the same time the most comprehensive Beethoven exhibition to date is held with exhibits lent from all over Europe. Beginning of acquisitions.

Since 1890
Every two years the Beethoven-Haus organizes an internationally renowned chamber music festival. The best chamber musicians perform for the benefit of the Beethoven-Haus.

The Joachim Quartet performs all of Beethoven's string quartets in a cycle for the first time.

Acquisition of the original manuscript of the Sixth Symphony in F major op. 68 ("Pastoral").

26 March 1927
Centenary of Beethoven's death.
Foundation of the Beethoven-Archiv.
Beginning of the systematic scholarly study of Beethoven's life and work.

First chamber music festival after the Nazis came to power. As part of the "Gleichschaltung" (coordination) in Nazi Germany, Jewish artists are no longer invited. In subsequent years, too, the Beethoven-Haus chooses to remain close to the Nazi regime.

Restoration work is carried out on the Beethoven-Haus a second time.

The Society acquires the legendary Beethoven collection of Dr. Hans Conrad Bodmer, Z├╝rich, thanks to a bequest in his will.

The first volume of the new critical Complete Edition of Beethoven's works is published.

Restoration work is carried out on the Beethoven-Haus a third time. Refurbishment of the exhibition.

24 February 1989
Opening of the Chamber Music Hall and the new building at Bonngasse 24-26.

Restoration work is carried out on the Beethoven-Haus a fourth time. The permanent exhibition is re-designed.

The Beethoven-Haus is awarded the "Europa nostra" heritage prize in 1998.

December 2004
The "Digital Beethoven-Haus" with its two new museum areas "Studio for Digital Collections" and "Stage for Music Visualisation" as well as its Internet presentation with a Digital Archive is opened after a six-year construction period.