Immersive exhibition marks Beethoven's birth
“I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet.” — Ludwig van Beethoven.
This is the first among dozens of Beethoven quotes on the wall of a newly opened high-tech exhibition commemorating the maestro’s 250th birthday on the fourth floor of Shanghai Concert Hall.
Next to the quote hangs an art installation consisting of 13,702 colored lights in the shape of music notes. It is the same number of notes from an excerpt of "Symphony No. 5" playing in the exhibition's first zone.
“This exhibition commemorating Beethoven’s 250th birthday is our gift to the city’s cultural scene,” said Tang Yicheng, CEO of the show’s organizer LWA Culture. “We want to pay tribute to the maestro in a new, unique way to allow visitors to better understand and experience his music through an immersive journey.”
The show, divided into three chapters and 10 zones, introduces Beethoven’s life and music through interactive means so that visitors can experience what it was like to be a musician in his times.
It includes a visualized "Symphony No. 5" where colored patterns are projected on the screen, changing when visitors touch it. Opposite to the screen stand Beethoven statues in various colors, under each soundproof headphones that give visitors an experience of deafness. Later in his life, the composer managed to write several classic pieces despite loss of his hearing.
Another large screen in the exhibition occupies almost an entire room. A short documentary contains artworks by Beethoven’s contemporaries and provides a larger picture of his era.
The exhibition opens on Saturday at Shanghai Concert Hall and is the first event held in the new space of the historic building. The hall went through an 18-month renovation and reopened recently. The show will run for six months.
One of the major changes of the concert hall is the new art space on the fourth floor. It was previously leased out to a restaurant.
“Through this show, the concert hall can utilized the upgraded facilities and new spaces to better satisfy public demands for art and exhibition events,” said Fang Liang, the concert hall’s general manager.
“Beginning with this one, we will host all types of art exhibitions related to music so that visitors can experience music in various ways.”