Worth Up to 150,000 Euros Beethoven Letter Discovered in Germany

A letter written in 1823 by composer Ludwig van Beethoven has been discovered in a collection bequeathed by a music teacher to the Lübeck Brahms Institute. In the three-page document, believed to be worth up to 150,000 euros, Beethoven asks a fellow composer for help to drum up money.

Wolfgang Sandberger, head of the Brahms Institute at the Lübeck School of Music, with the Beethoven letter.
DPA

Wolfgang Sandberger, head of the Brahms Institute at the Lübeck School of Music, with the Beethoven letter.


A letter written by Ludwig van Beethoven in July 1823 has surfaced in Germany and could be worth up to €150,000 ($192,000) , a musical institute said on Monday.

Beethoven wrote the letter in July 1823 to Franz Anton Stockhausen, a composer living in Paris, asking for his help to find sponsors for his piece "Missa solemnis."

Stockhausen's great-granddaughter, Renate Wirth, a former music teacher based in Frankfurt, died last year and the letter was part of the estate she bequeathed to the Brahms Institute of the Lübeck School of Music.

"This was a huge piece of luck for us," said the director of the institute, Wolfgang Sandberger. He said the letter had a market value of €100,000 to 150,000.

In the letter, Beethoven complains about being sick and short of money. "My small income and my sickliness require effort," complains the composer, who died four years after writing it.

The letter will be presented to the public on Jan. 18 and will be put on display at the institute's museum until Jan. 29.

The value of original writings by Beethoven became evident last year when a six-word shopping list he wrote sold for €60,000 at an auction.

cro -- with wire reports

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