A New Vision for Music

The Beethoven Festival Orchestra

Beethoven at 31

When he was 31 Beethoven wrote to a friend: “If the prosperity of our country improves, my art shall be exhibited only in the service of the poor.” This shows that even though part of Beethoven’s income was from the aristocracy and royalty, he didn’t intend his music to be for their exclusive enjoyment, but for everyone, especially the poor.

Buddhist scholar and philosopher Daisaku Ikeda

Daisaku Ikeda commented on Beethoven’s letter: “He felt that his art should be dedicated to the poor — an extremely revolutionary way of thinking for a musician in those days. And it was an attitude and way of life that brought him much financial hardship.”

The mission of the Beethoven Festival Orchestra is to present the highest caliber performances for the price of a movie ticket, and half price for students and seniors.

Only a tiny percentage of the 8.5 million residents of New York City can afford the hundreds of dollars that a ticket costs for a very good seat at Carnegie Hall, the Met Opera or the NY Philharmonic.

My vision: The Beethoven Festival Orchestra plays for all of New York City’s ethnicities, ages and races. I love the idea of the audience resembling the diversity of a crowded subway platform during rush hour. The orchestra’s site: