A display containing rarely exhibited manuscripts by Beethoven celebrates the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Curated by Professor Nicholas Marston of Cambridge University’s Faculty of Music, the display includes musical sketches and letters in Beethoven’s own hand, as well as a life-mask and his pocket-watch, all from the Fitzwilliam Museum collection.
Beethoven valued his musical sketches highly and was also a prolific correspondent. This display shows his process of composing and gives insight into the complexities of copying, printing and publishing music in order to make a living, in two letters to his friend, former pupil, and London agent, Ferdinand Ries.
Recent conservation work on the letters has allowed them to be exhibited for the first time in many years. To see this display in person book your general admission ticket or for more information about the conservation work behind the display read our blog.