Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Beethoven Beaten Annually in Edmonton

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Beethoven Beaten Annually in Edmonton

Article excerpt

ARE THE CITIZENS OF ALBERTA'S CAPITAL PARTICULARLY CRUEL TO FAMOUS COMPOSERS? Is cruelty the purpose of their annual "Beat Beethoven" event? Far from it! It is a road race for fundraising purposes to benefit the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. "Beat Beethoven" is currently in its ninteenth season. Launched in 1985, the event relies on Beethoven as the most recognizable name in classical music sure to draw enthusiastic crowds in support of the ESO.

On a Sunday morning in July, crowds of classical music lovers and the athletically-minded alike gather annually in downtown Edmonton at eight-thirty a.m. next to Edmonton's Winspear Centre for Music. The challenge is to complete a race of eight or a walk of four kilometers in less than 49 minutes and 47 seconds, which is the equivalent length of parts of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in a recorded and abridged version consisting of movements 1, 2, and 4. The starting signal is the cue for both runners and walkers and the beginning of the loudspeaker transmission of the recording of an abridged version of the Ninth Symphony.

This event, mainly sponsored by the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP, is, as ESO describes on their website, "one of the most exciting and special fundraising events" that "takes place on the streets of Edmonton." It is "not only an important means of raising funds for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra," but also "one of the running community's most anticipated events. …

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