Beethoven Time Machine

Ludwig van's Excellent Adventure Across Time

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What are those pivotal moments of history, music and entertainment where one could have imagined greatness lurking? Imagine, if you will, a time machine opportunity for history's greatest composer. Think of it as "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" or "Zelig," but applied to Beethoven. Never mind the so-called Butterfly Effect of time travel and join us on a journey that we call the Beethoven Time Machine.

The Photo Gallery of Stops

User Submitted Photos

How To Play Beethoven Time Machine

The scenario is this: if you could go back in time, grab Beethoven and bring him on a ride through history, where would you take him? Below are a few places we imagine he could have composed a wonderful score to historical moments. We hope this will inspire you to create your own creative stops in the Beethoven Time Machine and send them to us. We may post them on the WQXR Facebook Page!

Some Stops on the Beethoven Time Machine Tour:

 

We start our tour at our national inception. Beethoven visits the Declaration of Independence.

We start our tour at our national inception. Beethoven visits the Declaration of Independence.

 

Two out-of-the-box thinkers, Beethoven meets Teddy Roosevelt.

Two out-of-the-box thinkers, Beethoven meets Teddy Roosevelt.

 

Beethoven flies with breaker-of-glass ceilings, Amelia Earhart.

Beethoven flies with breaker-of-glass ceilings, Amelia Earhart.

 

Allied leaders meeting at the conclusion of WWII would not be complete without a visit from Beethoven.

Allied leaders meeting at the conclusion of WWII would not be complete without a visit from Beethoven.

 

Venturing into new musical lands, Beethoven drops by a Charlie Parker recording session.

Venturing into new musical lands, Beethoven drops by a Charlie Parker recording session.

 

Beethoven attends a very important speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Beethoven attends a very important speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Beethoven is present at the British Invasion, along with the other Beatles.

Beethoven is present at the British Invasion, along with the other Beatles.

 

An observer at the Chicago Seven courthouse trial, Chicago 1968.

An observer at the Chicago Seven courthouse trial, Chicago 1968.

 

Nixon was a fan of many interesting characters from entertainment. Beethoven was not alone in this.

Nixon was a fan of many interesting characters from entertainment. Beethoven was not alone in this.

 

From one genre-busting artist to another: Beethoven helps Coppola direct the Godfather.

From one genre-busting artist to another: Beethoven helps Coppola direct the Godfather.

 

Another important event in geo-political history, Beethoven helps negotiate a Cold War treaty.

Another important event in geo-political history, Beethoven helps negotiate a Cold War treaty.

 

Jumping backward a bit, Beethoven screen tests for the movie 'Dr. Strangelove.'

Jumping backward a bit, Beethoven screen tests for the movie 'Dr. Strangelove.'

 

Dee Dee Ramone couldn't make a gig so Beethoven fills in on bass, birthing Punk Rock in New York.

Dee Dee Ramone couldn't make a gig so Beethoven fills in on bass, birthing Punk Rock in New York.

 

Beethoven tries out the time machine in Back To The Future. Too meta?

Beethoven tries out the time machine in Back To The Future. Too meta?

 

Not to be contained, Beethoven makes a trip into outer space. That's NASA finding its way in the 90s with celebrity spacemen.

Not to be contained, Beethoven makes a trip into outer space. That's NASA finding its way in the 90s with celebrity spacemen.

 

The unthinkable happened for many Red Sox fans at the 2006 World Series. Beethoven was there.

The unthinkable happened for many Red Sox fans at the 2006 World Series. Beethoven was there.

 

Beethoven hosts MTV's TRL with guests The Jonas Brothers.

Beethoven hosts MTV's TRL with guests The Jonas Brothers.

 

Beethoven steps in as judge on American Idol.

Beethoven steps in as judge on American Idol.

 

This one has been imagined before, but Beethoven is there for another key geo-political moment.

This one has been imagined before, but Beethoven is there for another key geo-political moment.

 

Immortality is something Beethoven sought through his music. Here he is again in a movie poster for 'Twilight.'

Immortality is something Beethoven sought through his music. Here he is again in a movie poster for 'Twilight.'

 

User Submissions

Beethoven Time Machine - OSLMusic

Submitted by Orchestra of St. Luke's: "Beethoven, going for the gold. As one of the most influential composers ever, he'd be a great...or scary-great...coach."

 

Beethoven - Annie Hall

Staff submission by Olivia Giovetti

 

Beethoven - Rocky Horror

Staff submission by Olivia Giovetti

 

View More Beethoven Time Machine Submissions

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Comments [8]

SteveP from Stratford, CT

Just to be petty, that Red Sox photo might be from 2004 or 2007, but the Tigers lost to the Cardinals in 2006. And just what are the Red Sox doing in a WQXR discussion, anyway?

Nov. 05 2012 10:50 AM
Frank Feldman

Traveling forward thirty or forty years to punch Wagner in the nose for misconstruing the 9th symphony as the death of pure, abstract music, and the birth, naturally enough, of the mature Wagnerian symphonic snippets/recitative mishmash style.

Nov. 06 2011 10:23 PM
Barry Owen Furrer

The 2006 Boston Red Sox World Series photo has Mr. B looking a lot like retiring Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

Nov. 02 2011 11:09 PM
Michael Meltzer

Beethoven attending a performance by Evelyn Glennie and going backstage to congratulate her, is a nice thought.

Nov. 02 2011 10:32 PM
lenteach from brooklyn

ludwig wouldn't have shaken tricky dick's hand but might have socked him in the jaw.

Nov. 02 2011 07:58 PM
Frank Feldman

This has already been done to perfection in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." Nothing need be added.

Nov. 02 2011 10:40 AM

I'm digging the Nixon-Beethoven moment and the Dr. Strangelove screentest. Artfully done!

Nov. 01 2011 02:05 PM
Joy Fleisig

In the almost 50-year-old British science fiction television institution DOCTOR WHO, the time-travelling Doctor mentioned "hanging out with Beethoven". No word on whether Beethoven actually travelled through time with him, but a recent story had the Doctor take Vincent Van Gogh to the Musee D'Orsay in 2010 to show him his legacy ...

Nov. 01 2011 11:33 AM

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