The Sound of History: Beethoven, Napoleon and Revolution

  • Where Adelaide Town Hall
  • Prices
The Sound of History: Beethoven, Napoleon and Revolution

Tickets for this event are no longer available.

  • 2 hrs Duration* Due to the nature of live music, the duration listed is an estimate only.
  • 20 mins Interval
  • Viola Solo Instrument
  • Adelaide Town Hall Location
  • Special Event Category


Due to illness, Brett Dean is unable to conduct Saturday’s performance of The Sound of History: Beethoven, Napoleon and Revolution.

We are delighted that eminent Australian conductor and composer Richard Mills will step in and conduct the performance.

The program remains unchanged and we know you will enjoy what is going to be a magnificent performance.


He recently took out the figurative Gold Logie for Australia’s most popular composer in ABC’s Classic 100, but how well do we really know Beethoven? This unique evening commemorating his 250th year delivers startling insights into the turning point of his life – 6 October 1802 – when he composed not a piece of music but a letter that he kept secret until he died.

Brett Dean, himself now one of the world’s most acclaimed composers, leads the ASO from the viola and invites his friend Sir Christopher Clark, Professor of History at Cambridge University, to give a rich context – social, political and scientific – for the famous Heiligenstadt Testament.

The realisation that the playful, life-affirming works written when Ludwig was a stellar figure in Vienna are actually those of a young man on the brink of suicide will shock you. That he could defy his depression and crippling affliction with the most revolutionary symphony ever composed, the Eroica, is one of art’s great miracles.

At the concert’s centre, Dean’s own moving and terrifying work evokes the maestro’s vanishing sound world and lets us share the panic and alienation that he was forced to mask.

Free Pre-Concert Talks

Discover more about the music with Classical Conversations, our free pre-concert talks before each Symphony Series concert. Enjoy relaxed discussions where artists, conductors, composers, and ASO players share personal insights about the music. Classical Conversations occur one hour prior to each concert in the stalls of the Adelaide Town Hall.

Program to include

  • Dean Testament
  • Beethoven Symphony No.3 Eroica

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