Chaz Ebert named Laureate of Beethoven Spirit Award

Chaz Ebert

The Chicago-based International Beethoven Project (IBP) announced today that entrepreneur, publisher, author, producer, and philanthropist Chaz Ebert is the 2019 Laureate of this year’s Beethoven Spirit Award.

The Beethoven Spirit Award is given every year to an accomplished person who has lived a life of humanistic action connected to the arts. The honor is bestowed by the International Beethoven Project, a Chicago-based not-for-profit that was founded by concert pianist George Lepauw in 2008 with the original goal of “giving the world premiere of Beethoven’s H47.”

The IBP has since grown into a global organization that hosts the annual Beethoven Birthday Bash, a four-day, all-arts inclusive feast of theater, comedy, art, and film that takes place in Chicago and honors the date of Ludwig von Beethoven’s birth, December 17, 1770.

In addition to celebrating the classical music created by the great composer for which it is named, the Beethoven Birthday Bash has been known to venture into and jazz and rock-and-roll.

The theme of this year’s event, “Spirit,” is about Beethoven the man and the humanist who supported the French Revolution, who overcame deafness to write Ode to Joy (the current anthem of the European Union), who gave charity concerts to support the families of fallen soldiers in the wars with Napoleon, and who believed in liberté, egalité, fraternité.

Chaz Ebert
The IBP described Ebert’s compassion, talent, and success while announcing its decision to honor her as the 2019 Spirit Laureate in a press release issued today:

“Chaz Ebert is a humanist who promotes justice and a better world through the arts, highlighting important voices in film, supporting young and emerging artists, caring for the urban environment. Chaz is a model citizen of Chicago and, through her many personal and philanthropic engagements across the globe, of the world

One has only to see the documentary she and Roger made together as he was battling cancer to see the love, the soul, the spirit and the courage to carry on as she is doing in all her endeavors making the world a better place through the arts. Benjamin Marshall, more than an architect, was himself a humanist, passionate about people, passionate about the arts.”

Chaz also publishes and curates the popular film website, “the world’s preeminent destination for movie criticism, commentary and community,” named in honor of her late husband, the legendary Chicago film critic Roger Ebert.

Bach48: Voyage Into the Well-Tempered Clavier
IBP founder George Lepauw recently recorded Well-Tempered Clavier, a timeless composition by Johann Sebastian Bach, who was Beethoven’s icon. Lepauw also produced an accompanying documentary about Bach and his greatest masterpiece titled, Bach48: Voyage Into the Well-Tempered Clavier, that will be screened during the festival at the Logan Square-based Hairpin Arts Center on Friday, Dec 13 at 9:20 pm and Sunday, Dec 15th at 3pm.


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