• U.S.

Nation: Happy Birthday, Lud

1 minute read
TIME

Ludwig van Beethoven’s 200th birthday has been celebrated this year with due reverence in much of the musical world. But the city of San Antonio is giving the anniversary song a definite Texas beat. The San Antonio Symphony, trying to raise $75,000 for its endowment fund, has found Ludwig a profitable gimmick. Recently, guests arriving for a fund-raising coffee were startled to be greeted by a smiling Beethoven who said, “Velcome to mein birthday.” Actually, it was an actor named Stewart Drake, suited up in Viennese knickers and wig. The delighted guests sang “Happy Birthday, dear Ludwig.” Then there is the “Bucks for Beethoven” campaign, in which music lovers purchase specially printed funny money that shows the master flashing the V sign. This week the coda. The symphony fund raisers will have Drake-Beethoven auction off several bottles of liquor. The folks will be bidding for−what else?−”Beethoven’s Fifth.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com