As Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra gear up for their New York Residency the Huffington Post looks at their education project, “Feel the Music”.

“Even casual fans of classical music know of Ludwig van Beethoven’s deafness. But could his hearing loss actually have been his greatest advantage as a musician?

Maybe so, says Leif Ove Andsnes, the highly acclaimed Norwegian pianist touring the world playing Beethoven with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Perhaps hearing impairment was the great composer’s greatest gift. And that got Andsnes thinking…about hearing impaired kids and the ways they “hear” or experience music. “Beethoven knew by age 20 that he was losing his hearing,” Andsnes, nominated for six Grammy awards, told me. “It led to depression and suicide attempts because of the social shame he experienced. He couldn’t play the piano in public, and that’s what he had become famous for in Vienna.

“But I’ve been thinking a lot,” Andsnes says, “about why Beethoven’s music took such a radical turn at that moment in his life. He’s around 32 or 33 when he goes deaf, and that when his music becomes so wild and free and new, like nothing before.”

Read the full feature on Huffington Post

Source: Huffington Post