Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you again for an extraordinary event, the 17th annual Phnom Penh Music Festival.

2020 marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. His music will be celebrated all over the world, and I am proud that Cambodia is a part of this with its own musical contributions. Additionally, the festival offers a recitation of Beethoven’s letters, allowing access to explore him as a private human being.

I am glad, that three of Beethoven letters to “The Immortal Beloved,” have been translated into Khmer language by Dr. Sam Samang in Berlin. The letters will be recited by the young Cambodian writer Choun Sopheap. The German version will be presented by Saing Chanchamroeun, from the Language Department of the Cambodian German Cultural Center KGKG.

However, behind European developments there are also many transcultural aspects that remind us of similar tendencies in our culture that need to be revived and addressed more intensively.

I wish you some wonderful festival days.

Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts

Phoeurng Sackona
Minister of
Culture and Fine Arts
Carmen Moreno
Ambassador of
the European Union
to Cambodia

Christian Berger
Ambassador of
the Federal Republic of Germany
to the Kingdom of Cambodia


Dear music lovers,

Welcome to the 17th International Music Festival celebrating the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Beethoven composed in all the main genres of classical music, including symphonies, concertos, string quartets, piano works and one opera. His works range from requiring a solo performer to needing a large orchestra and chorus to perform.

Like much of Beethoven's work, his piano music can vary depending on when it was composed, what he was thinking about and, crucially, how grumpy he was. There's a fantastic range of moods to explore, from the light and humorous stuff to the dark and stormy struggles of a tormented soul. So brace yourself and get ready to experience Beethoven, the pianist.

Anton Isselhardt, Festival Director

Anton Isselhardt
Festival Director