By Ben Finane

Beethoven is both foundational for orchestras and the great orchestral game changer—an iconoclast who became an icon. He’s been studied, documented, put on the silver screen, fictionalized, turned into a trope and a meme. His 250th birthday in 2020 will unleash a torrent of Beethoven mania at orchestras across the U.S. But does Beethoven—despite his place in the Pantheon—remain “universal” in the 21st century?

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