The 3MBS Marathon Supporter Program is a special way that you can help 3MBS stage the Marathon.

2020 marks the 250th birthday of one of the world’s most prolific and iconic music geniuses, Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven’s unique compositional style strongly influenced the transition of Western music from the Classical era to the Romantic, with its unsettling intensity, overt emotion and humanist optimism.

Offering a diverse program for all ages at Melbourne Recital Centre, the 3MBS Beethoven Marathon will present six concerts in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, plus an all-day Youth Program in the Primrose Potter Salon. Highlights include the ground-breaking Mass in C, Piano Concert No. 4 and the mighty Symphony No. 5.

We have five levels of giving this year:

Immortal Beloved ($5,000+)
Beethoven’s personal life largely remains a mystery, most notably the intended recipient of a love letter addressed to his ‘Immortal Beloved’. Written in July 1812, Beethoven’s love life was constantly hampered by class issues. Out of several possible candidates, the one’s most favoured by scholars are Antonie Brentano, Josephine Brunsvik, Giulietta Guicciardi (dedicatee of his Moonlight Sonata) and the Countess Anna Maria von Erdődy. The mystery behind the letter was portrayed in the 1994 film Immortal Beloved, directed by Bernard Rose. 

Eroica ($2,500+)
One of the composer’s most celebrated works, the Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 is known as the ‘Eroica’. Composed in 1803-1804, Beethoven initially dedicated the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul of France, of whom the composer held in the ‘highest esteem’. However, before its musical premiere, Beethoven learned that Napoleon had proclaimed himself Emperor of France. The composer was so furious that, it is said, he tore the title-page of the score in half and scratched out Napoleon’s name. 

Appassionata ($1,000+)
Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, commonly known as the ‘Appassionata’, was composed between 1804 and 1806, a period when the composer came to grips with the irreversibility of his progressively deteriorating hearing. The name ‘Appassionata’ was coined 30 years later, after the composer’s death, when a publisher issued a four-hand transcription of the work. A work of great intensity and passion, this work offers an insight into the composer’s anger and despair during his tumultuous Middle Period.

Heiligenstadt ($500+)
The Heiligenstadt Testament is a letter written by Beethoven to his brothers, Carl and Johann, dated 6 October 1802, describing his despair over his increasing deafness. The composer lived in the small town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna, from April to October 1802 in an attempt to come to terms with his condition. Beethoven’s resolution to continue living for his art is expressed with such sincerity and determination in what was destined to become one of the most well-known, and painfully sad, documents in the history of music.

Lobkowitz ($100+)
Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz (1772-1816) was a leading patron of the arts in Vienna and quickly befriended the young Beethoven premiering many of the composer’s works at his palace. He offered the composer an annual pension from 1808 that continued after his death in 1816 until Beethoven’s own death in 1827. Beethoven dedicated several works to the Prince: his third (after he angrily withdrew the original dedication to Napoleon), fifth and sixth symphonies; his String Quartets, Op. 18 and String Quartet Op. 74; the Triple Concerto and the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte.      

All contributors will be recognised in the published program and online. Thank you for supporting the 2020 3MBS Beethoven Marathon.