Usually held annually in Bonn, Germany, the 2020 Beethovenfest and celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday was cancelled due to COVID-19 and imposed restrictions.
The festival was able to return this year, presenting over 50 concerts between August 20 and September 10, 2021. This year's festival motto was “Resurrect, yes, resurrect!” inspired by Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2.
About 12,200 visitors attended the set 53 concerts, 24 of which were performed to sold-out audiences. Over 1,500 people attended a further 22 concerts which were held at Bonn’s Post Tower with free entry.
On Beethovenfest’s opening weekend, five top-tier ensembles presented all nine of the composer's symphonies. The proceeds of those performances being donated to relief efforts for the flood disaster in the Rhein-Sieg district, Germany.
This festival was the final one for its director Nike Wagner, who upon opening the 2021 edition said:
"Because of his commitment to humanity, Beethoven is not a narcissistic composer or a purely lyrical composer working from an ivory tower. He says 'I,' — but that encompasses 'we.'"