Beethoven 250: Beyond Hearing

NLCE celebrates 20th anniversary with major commissioning and inclusivity project

NLCE at 20/Beethoven at 250 with Music and the Deaf 

2020 was a year of celebration! The NLCE turned 20, and we celebrated Beethoven 250!

To mark our 20th anniversary in 2020, which was also the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we produced a new commissioning and research project where we looked at what Beethoven’s deafness meant to him in his life and work, and explored the experiences of current artists and composers working with hearing loss.

We are working with partners such as Dame Evelyn Glennie and Music and the Deaf in researching the stories of people with hearing loss today, and developing a concert and workshop experience that allows the project to be toured in a way that allows as many people as possible to enjoy and engage with the performances (including people with hearing loss). We are exploring techniques for concerts such as live captioning, BSL-based interpretation of the music, and visual effects, and will be offering bespoke pre-concert workshops by the NLCE and Music and the Deaf. The result will be uplifting, explorative, and engaging; bringing the music of Beethoven and his contemporaries to people who might not otherwise have been able to enjoy it, and bringing Beethoven’s story into the context of the present day through interviews and new commissions.

We are offering new Beethoven-inspired programmes from 2021 onwards, which can include one or more of our newly-commissioned responses to Beethoven’s material by various composers including Rachel Stott and Alastair Borthwick. Our new commissions will include a work for wind quintet with percussion by Ailis Ni Riain, to be premiered by the NLCE with Dame Evelyn Glennie. We hope these programme suggestions will give a flavour of what we will be offering; as always, we will be happy to work with you to produce the best programme for your audience.


Beethoven-inspired repertoire for wind quintet and piano

Beethoven – Quintet in E Flat op 16 for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon & piano. 25’

Mozart – Quintet in E Flat K 452 for oboe, clarinet, horn. bassoon & piano 25’

Spohr – Quintet for piano and winds (flute, clarinet, horn, bassoon, piano)


Beethoven-inspired repertoire for wind quintet and smaller groupings without piano

George Onslow – Wind Quintet in F major, Op 81 (1850) 23’

Francesco Antonio Rosetti – Wind quintet in E Flat B6. (1750-1792) 15’

Anton Reicha – Wind Quintet: (flute, cor anglais, clarinet, horn,bassoon) (1770-1836)

Stamitz – Wind Quartet (oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon)

Beethoven – Duo for clarinet & bassoon in C major 10’


Beethoven repertoire for smaller wind groupings with piano

Beethoven Sonata in F major op 17 for horn and piano. 14’

Beethoven Trio in G major, WOo 37 for flute, basson and piano (1786). 25’


New commissions based on Beethoven’s material, from Rachel Stott and Alastair Borthwick (wind quintet) and Ailis Ni Riain (wind quintet and percussion)


Sample programme for wind quintet:

Mozart/Vester – Andante for an organ cylinder K616 (5′)

Beethoven – Variations on La Ci Darem la Mano Wo 028 1795 (9′)

Reicha – Quintet in E minor Op. 100 No. 4 (28′)


Haydn/Perry – Divertimento No. 1 in B flat major, Hob II 46 (St Anthony Chorale) (8′)

New Commission

Beethoven/Rechtman – Quintet in E flat op 4 after the Wind Octet Op 103 (28′)



Sample programme for wind quintet with piano:

George Onslow – Wind Quintet in F major, Op 81 (1850)

New Commission 

  1. A. Mozart – Quintet in E Flat K 452 for ob, cl, hn. bn & pno


New Commission

Beethoven – Sonata in F major op 17 for horn and piano

Beethoven – Quintet in E Flat op 16 for ob, cl, hn, bn & pno