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Home » Beethoven, the Heavy Metal of the Early 19th Century!: Nicolas Ellis at TEDxYouth@Montreal (Transcript)

Beethoven, the Heavy Metal of the Early 19th Century!: Nicolas Ellis at TEDxYouth@Montreal (Transcript)

Nicolas Ellis at TEDxYouth Montreal

Nicolas Ellis – TRANSCRIPT

(Video )

That was Cellos on Fire, a metal band in which I used to play keyboard when I was in high school and… even during a few years in college. And I remember, you see, how happy I look.

I remember how much I loved to be onstage with the band and sometimes offstage as well. It was for me, as a classically trained musician, a way to disconnect through another kind of music. Today, I spend most of my time being a conductor. I don’t only walk my dog, I also conduct orchestras. And I simply love to work with 60, 70, 80 musicians.

And it truly inspires me to study and work on the great works of the great composers of the past. When I get to study Beethoven, there is something deep inside me that feels the same way. I used to feel when I was with Cellos on Fire, because Beethoven had that raw, direct and kind of thrash way to put music into your face. And with no doubt, he shocked many people around him as a loud and also noisy composer. And with no doubt, he was therefore the heavy metal of the early 19th century.

But why is it that at his time the people could not understand his music, and yet today we consider him one of the great masters of classical music? Well, Beethoven had a very particular life. Before he was even a teen, he was almost beaten to death twice by his alcoholic father. And in his early 30s, he started to have hearing problems, and by the end of his life, he became totally deaf. He never truly had a woman, no girlfriends, really, in his life. He used to move a lot from one apartment to the other; in fact, his apartments were always a huge mess with manuscripts all over the piano and uneaten food that had been hanging on the piano for several days.

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