As the Fall season for classical music is upon us, you can bet on this: even though 2013 is an anniversary year for Verdi, Wagner, Britten or Lutowslavsky, you'll hear more Beethoven. Ludwig has earned it enough to be celebrated no matter what year it is, but it sure has been an eerie confluence of concerts, recordings and books. If you really need a Beethoven anniversary, his Fifth Symphony was the first tuned recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic by Deutsche Grammophon, a hundred years ago. He's that ubiquitous.
The SF Symphony contributes on multiple fronts: it continues its recording of the symphonies with a recently released Ninth, and it will feature the odd pairing of Beethoven with Mason Bates in two concert series next January conducted by MTT. It also completed last May its spring mini-festival, where it devotes a series of concerts to a specific theme. This year: LVB. The Philharmonia Baroque orchestra brings another recording of the symphonies, with the Fourth and the Seventh. And he's not local, but we've read Boston music critic/scholar Matthew Guerrieri's book, the First Four Notes, 359 pages dedicated to, you guessed it, the ta-ta-ta-dum opening of Beethoven's Fifth (a symphony that you can hear everywhere in our culture, according to Guerrieri, but in particular at Davies Symphony Hall on Jan 26, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pinchas Zuckerman conducting).