Laura Tunbridge gave the tenth annual Anthony Burgess Lecture at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on 14 October 2021, exploring Beethoven’s life and work and discussing Anthony Burgess’s lifelong engagement with both. We are delighted to present the lecture as the latest episode of the Burgess Foundation podcast.
Laura is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford and author of the award-winning biography, Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces. Beethoven’s life is shrouded in myths, and her hugely readable and compelling study questions the usual image of him as an eccentric genius shaking his fist at heaven. Her overview of Beethoven’s life reveals his oddly modern talent for self-promotion, how he was influenced by factors from European wars to instrument building, and how he was heard by his contemporaries.
Anthony Burgess himself admired the ‘storm and stress’ of Beethoven’s work. He famously has ‘the old Ludwig van’ as Alex’s favourite composer in A Clockwork Orange, and his fictionalised biography Napoleon Symphony was written in four ‘movements’, taking its structure from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. Laura reveals Burgess’s Beethoven and much more in her lecture. Stream or download below.
The Burgess Foundation Podcast explores Anthony Burgess’s life and work through thematic discussions and interviews with writers, literature experts, and other people who have encountered Burgess and his work in different contexts.
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