Beethoven’s Hair

Beethoven’s Hair

Wednesday, September 30th at 4:15 P.M.

WATCH LIVE on our website or on our YOUTUBE Channel:

Featuring Guy Bannerman (actor), Jamie Mainprize (actor), Victoria Kogan (piano), Elina Kelebeev (piano) and Atis Bankas (violin). Atis Bankas’ musical performance is an homage to the book of the same name, an astonishing tale of one lock of hair and its amazing travels from 19th-century Vienna to 21st-century America.  This is an astonishing tale of one lock of hair, its amazing travels and the incredible things it has told us about Ludwig van Beethoven.

When Ludwig van Beethoven lay dying in 1827, a young musician named Ferdinand Hiller came to pay his respects to the great composer, snipping a lock of Beethoven’s hair as a keepsake — as was customary at the time. A treasured Hiller family relic, Beethoven’s hair somehow found its way to the town of Gilleleje, in Nazi-occupied Denmark. There, it was given to a local doctor, Kay Fremming, who was deeply involved in the effort to help save hundreds of hunted and frightened Jews.

After Fremming’s death, his daughter assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby’s, where it was purchased in 1994. Arriving in the United States, Beethoven’s hair underwent a series of complex forensic tests in the hope of finding the probable causes of the composer’s chronically bad health, his deafness, and the final demise that Ferdinand Hiller had witnessed all those years ago. The results, revealed for the first time here, are the most compelling explanation yet offered for why one of the greatest musicians the world has ever known was forced to spend much of his life in silence.