Culture is relevant for our society: European Christmas Greetings

Dear friends,

Dear colleagues,

Dear Sir or Madam,


Without any doubt, the year of 2020 will stay in our memories for a long time. The past months have been, for many reasons a very challenging time for many people, industries and sectors.

Especially the cultural sector has been hit hard. In 2020, during the Beethoven Anniversary Year of all years, theatres had to shut down, concerts were cancelled and cinemas stayed empty. A year with an empty audience meant a year without work and income not only for artists, but also for most related jobs behind the stages.

Therefore, it means a lot to me to dedicate this digital Christmas Card to the cultural sector and support artists from my home region Saarland in Germany. Our message is clear: Culture is systemically relevant!

I am looking forward to next year, to continue working for a European Union with more climate-, environment- and consumer protection, to better preserve biodiversity and to fight for an end of intensive animal farming.

I am wishing you a very Merry Christmas, a good start into the new year and lots of joy with our European Christmas Greetings from the Beethoven Anniversary Year.

Manuela Ripa
Member of the European Parliament

December 17th, 2020 marks 250th anniversary of the christening of Ludwig van Beethoven, as his exact date of birth in unknown. Part of Beethoven’s visionary oeuvres are also the less widely known 179 songs of different nations (1815 – 1818), which he composed in their respective original languages for vocals, violin, violoncello and piano. Here, we decided to include the songs of those nations from Beethoven’s collection, that are members of the European Union. For us, they represent the diversity and connectedness between the cultures of Europe.


Ludwig van Beethoven: Songs of different nations (WoO 158 and WoO 153), 1815 – 1818

No. 1: Deutschland: Horch auf, mein Liebchen (WoO 158,2)

No. 2: Portugal: Seus lindos olhos (WoO 158,12)

No. 3: Danmark: Ridder Stig tjener (WoO 158,1)

No. 4: España: Já no quiero embarcarme / Cancion (WoO 158,11)

No. 5: Österreich: I bin a Tyroler Bua / Teppich-Krämer-Lied (WoO 158,5)

No. 6: Magyarország: Édes kinos emlékezet / Hungarian song for wine harvest (WoO 158,22)

No. 7: Italia: Da brava Catina / Canzonetta Veneziana (WoO 158,23)

No. 8: Sverige: Lilla Carl, sov sött i frid! / Swedish lullaby (WoO 158,17)

No. 9: France: Non, non, Colette (WoO 158,24)

No. 10: Polska: Poszła baba po popiół (WoO 158,10)

No. 11: Ireland: The kiss, dear maid, thy lip has left (WoO 153,9 from 20 Irish songs)


With: Ralf Peter (tenor), Thomas Layes (piano), Götz Hartmann (violin) and Benjamin Jupé (violoncello)


Production and Staging: Katharina Molitor

Program: Ralf Peter

Technical Management: Florian Layes


A heartfelt thankyou to Götz Hartmann and Benjamin Jupé for their contribution to this project as a sign of solidarity with their freelancing colleagues.