One year, eleven events, unrivalled detail
You might know the hits and even a little bit of the story, but there’s so much more to discover. Join us on a year-long adventure through the life of one of music’s most important figures, Ludwig van Beethoven, as we present some of his greatest music (and the fascinating tales surrounding it) in a series of laid back evenings across London.
Many years ago, a child was born in the sleepy town of Bonn, to a mediocre court musician and his long-suffering wife. The father drank too much (his own mother had drunk her way to an asylum) and his wife now had a child to raise in their chaotic apartment above a local bakery. Little could they have imagined that the latest edition to the Beethoven family would go on to make their name one of the most famous in history.
250 years later, and few parts of the world haven’t been touched by Beethoven’s musical legacy. Even out of the concert hall, his work is rarely far from the collective human consciousness. The famous symphonies are heard in the background of countless films, children the world over hammer out the first few notes of “Für Elise” on the piano to the feigned approval of their parents, and vague anecdotes concerning the tragedy of his untimely deafness are recounted to varying degrees of accuracy. Want to know the facts from the fiction? That’s where we come in.
The Little Orchestra is on a mission to break the assumption that classical music is relevant only to a select few. There is no “correct” way to appreciate what is being played, and one person’s enjoyment can come from a completely different place to the person sitting next to them. In our experience, however, one of the most rewarding ways to engage with classical music (especially if this is a new experience) is to understand the story behind it. And with Beethoven, the story is an absolute blockbuster. Over the course of next year, we will be bringing you all nine incredible symphonies – as well as some of his best-known piano and string music – whilst sharing some of the fascinating context surrounding each piece’s creation..
There is a false notion that some sort of archaic initiation is needed in order to fit in at a concert. Not with ours. With no dress code, no unspoken rules and no unwritten expectations at all, you can sit back with a drink and listen, first as our conductor – Nicholas Little – gives you an introduction to the story, the music and things to listen out for, and then to the pieces themselves. Our orchestra is made up of the highest quality players – usually in their first few years of blossoming careers – who more often than not stick around for a drink with us after the music has finished.
To get inside the music, we have to get inside Beethoven’s world. With this in mind, we have journeyed all over the city in search of inspiring venues in which we can bring this world to life in a way you would never find at a traditional concert hall. Venues such as Porchester Hall in West London, York Hall in Bethnal Green, the incredible theatre at Alexandra Palace in the North to the stunningly restored Battersea Arts Centre south of the river provide brilliant canvases for our designer to transform.
With each chapter focusing on a different period or aspect of Beethoven’s life, the design of these spaces will evolve throughout the year. Beginning our story in a reimagining of Beethoven’s first home in Bonn, we will journey with him to Vienna as he makes a name for himself as a virtuoso pianist, explore the rural spa town of Heiligenstadt where he tries to come to terms with untimely hearing loss, and much more. There will be surprises at every stage, but you can rest assured our commitment to a relaxed, fun and enriching experience will be consistent throughout!
Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.
ludwig van beethoven
Food & Drink
As each adventure begins, the best place to start is with a bite to eat. Keen for no detail to be missed, the menu for each chapter takes its inspiration directly from the stories surrounding the music being played, and to achieve this we are lucky to have some infinitely creative culinary experts at our disposal! Our incredibly experienced chefs have dived into the story of Beethoven and translated it into mouthwatering experience every step of the way, with vegetarian and vegan options included throughout every event in the year.
Beethoven was known to enjoy a glass or two, and naturally, we wouldn’t want you to go thirsty. Fear not friends! Alongside our fabulous catering team, we have the best of the best when it comes to liquid innovators. Mix & Match, headed by husband and wife team Paul and Sam, will be offering their years of expertise to create awe-inspiring cocktails for our journey, providing a selection of bespoke creations unique to each chapter alongside an incredibly comprehensive bar. We have you covered.
Absolutely wonderful! Thank you for a spectacular performance.
Thank you for bringing the stories to life this evening. It was lovely!
Maddie + Seb
An absolutely gorgeous evening! Fun, informative + glorious music...and flapjack ;)
Hannah & Richard
Thank you for a wonderful evening of music, an amazing ambience!
Lauren & Carl
This is clever, absorbing, fun and relaxing. All good. Well done. We will be back.
Great to see the musicians up close and hear the explanations from the conductor!
Mike and Roxy
Yet again you guys nailed it. You demystify classical music for the common man. That is an art in itself.
After the music…
…the party continues. With the bar staying open until midnight, we have all manner of musical surprises in store that further enhance the world of Beethoven in a variety of exciting ways. As musicians and audience mingle together in our beautifully transformed venues, the relaxed vibes are the perfect way to experience the more intimate angles of Beethoven’s incredible back catalogue, be it chilling in our post-concert soirée whilst listening to some of his most celebrated piano music or getting your dancing shoes on in the style of 19th century Vienna (no, really).
Once the night is concluded, you can relive some of the stories covered in more detail via our exclusive Treasure Chest, found on a secret part of our website using a password revealed at the event. Here you will find an extensive, yet friendly, guide to all things Beethoven, updated for each new chapter as the year progresses. What’s more, dedicated readers will be rewarded with prizes and bonuses to be redeemed at future events throughout the year.
From Beethoven experts to complete beginners, anyone is welcome on our journey. Next year represents a historic reminder of all that Beethoven achieved in a fascinating, troubled, and downright revolutionary existence, and there is no better opportunity to learn about his story. We have a limited number of early bird tickets available for those eager to join us at any stage of the production, and we even a complete ticket for any devotees keen to experience the journey in its entirety. Join us as we delve into the psyche of a fascinating human, and witness some of the greatest music ever written along the way.
Tickets are now on sale via our box office: