It’s Beethoven’s Birthday! We Celebrate with Guitar Videos from Rolf van Meurs and the Virtual Guitar Orchestra

Every year we love to celebrate the birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, both because he was SO great and also to hopefully encourage more guitarists to play his music; it’s surprising there really isn’t that much out there. And this particular birthday is a big one: 250!

So, please enjoy these two very cool videos. The first features Dutch guitarist Rolf van Meurs, whom we showcased playing the iconic first movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony back in September 2020. Here, he plays a stirring version of the famous second movement of my all-time favorite work, Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. The second video is a fantastically imaginative pastiche of moments from all of Beethoven’s symphonies—dubbed 9 Symphonies for 9 Guitars—performed by the always-changing Virtual Guitar Orchestra, this time featuring Mak Grgic, Kevin Loh, Uros Baric, William Johnston, Jure Cerkovnik, An Tran, David Steinhardt, Janoš Jurinčič, and Nejc Kuhar. The piece was conceived by Mak Grgic and composed/collaged by Leon Firšt, with video production handled by Uros Baric. A bold idea brilliantly executed! —Blair Jackson