Published: August 2015
At the turn of the twentieth century, students returning from abroad introduced Beethoven to China. The composer's perseverance in the face of adversity and his musical genius resonated in a nation searching for a way forward. Beethoven remained a durable part of Chinese life in the decades that followed, becoming an icon to intellectuals, music fans and party cadres alike, playing a role in major historical events from the May Fourth Movement to the normalisation of US-China relations. Jindong Cai, whose love for the musician began during the Cultural Revolution, and culture journalist Sheila Melvin tell the compelling story of Beethoven and the Chinese people.