Just over a quarter of Germans stumped by poll on Beethoven’s music

Berlin (dpa) – While almost every German person over the age of 18 has heard of the name Ludwig van Beethoven, not all of them could hum one of the composer’s famous tunes, according to a poll.

YouGov researchers found that 95 per cent of those surveyed had heard of Beethoven. However, among those who knew the name and could identify him as a composer, 15 per cent were unfamiliar with at least one of Beethoven’s works.

Eleven per cent responded with “I don’t know” when asked whether they knew any of the German maestro’s compositions, while around three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) were aware of Beethoven masterpieces such as his Symphony No 9.

Germany is celebrating what would have been Beethoven’s 250th birthday this year with around 1,000 concerts, opera performances and events across the country.

However, many of the participants in the YouGov poll were unconvinced that classical music still played an important role in modern society, with 68 per cent agreeing that the genre had lost significance.

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