The German Association of Amateur Orchestras (Bundesverband Deutscher Liebhaberorchester e.V. / BDLO) takes the occasion of the Beethoven jubilee to bring together international representatives of amateur music and professional and amateur musicians.

This is the first time the multi-layered facets of and possibilities for interaction and interdependence of two very differently positioned and motivated columns of our musical life become visible in an international project.

The aim of the project BTHVN 2021 – Passion meets Profession is to focus on the opportunities and challenges of music making in amateur and professional orchestras in Germany and on an international level. These topics will be approached in a discursive way and in a practical experience, which means to discuss it in an international conference and to experience it playing in the international amateur orchestra.

In Germany, “Non Professional Instrumental Music Making” was declared a UNESCO “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in 2016. With this international project, the BDLO would like to fulfil its special international responsibility to maintain this important and internationally highly valued cultural heritage. Primary partners of the project are thus the World Federation of Amateur Orchestras (WFAO) and the European Orchestra Federation (EOFED), with whom the BDLO, as a founding member, has been in close connection at the international level for many years.

BTHVN 2021 - The Orchestra

BTHVN 2021 - The Conference

As the world’s largest national umbrella organisation of amateur symphony and chamber orchestras, the BDLO represents 870 orchestras, in which around 34,000 musicians are active. Most of the member orchestras are organized as independent orchestra associations or are part of larger institutions (university orchestras, music school orchestras, school orchestras or those in church sponsorship). The BDLO was founded in 1924 and is thus one of the oldest and most traditional music associations in the world. The BDLO organizes publicly funded projects such as the “Bundesamateurorchester” or the “Bundesmusikwoche 50Plus” every year and therefore has experience in the organisation and implementation of such projects.
The project mentioned above takes place in the context of the Beethoven anniversary “BTHVN 2020”. Our project is supported by a grant program funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) with the aim of encouraging a new perspective on Beethoven’s work and influence, questioning the familiar and discovering the unknown. In addition, the Federal Government wants to use the programme to reach above all people who have had little or no access to music and Beethoven’s work.

A project by

Funded by

In cooperation with

World Federation of Amateur Orchestras