Monday, June 13, 2011


Perhaps Bonn's most famous son and among the greatest classical composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven was born on either December 16 or 17, 1770 at what is now Bongasse's house no. 20. Magnifying his greatness was the fact that he suffered from deafness from his teenage years which progressed until his death on March 26, 1827 in Vienna.

Some 17 years after Beethoven's birth, Franz Peter Schubert was born on January 31, 1797 in Vienna. Also acknowledged as a master composer of classical music, Schubert died a year after Beethoven's death on November 19, 1828 also in Vienna.

What is not sure is if the two geniuses worked together or ever met. Whatever is the case, a symbolic meeting of the masters happened on June 12 (Philippine Independence Day), 2011 when Shubert Ciencia (born January 18, 1970 and named by his parents after the great Schubert) visited the great Beethoven's origins on 20 Bongassee, breathed the air of that great house, gazed at the relics of that great man, and fell asleep midway into an inter-active presentation of an excerpt from Fidelio.

PHOTOS (from top to bottom): [1] Beethoven's ancestral house at 20 Bonngasse; [2] Beethoven's statue at the Munsterplatz in front of a centuries old baroque palace that now serves as Bonn's post office, which is the first to be erected for him and unveiled on his 75th birthday in 1845 during the holding of the first Beethoven Festival; [3] Shubert at the door of the Beethoven house.

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