When I moved to Scotland, Beethoven travelled along – snuggly wrapped in a towel. He oversaw many nights when I wrote essays or did my research. After overseeing my studies in Glasgow for four years Ludwig and I moved together to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since I spent most of my time at the music department at the University of Michigan, Beethoven would patiently wait for my return at night.
Now Beethoven and I are settled down in London, and as I continue preparing the Choral Fantasy for a performance at the end of April, I wonder what my friend on the windowsill would say, if he could talk. Not so much of the travels he and I shared, but more of how the various interpretations and studies of his works have shaped how we think of him today. As one of the most revolutionary composers in the history of western classical music, this little bust still inspires me as it had done those many years ago.