This year's Beethovenfest runs from September 9 to October 9 and highlights the 200th birthday of composer Franz Liszt. Along with Beethoven himself, Liszt was a major pioneer of modern concert tradition.It's a tradition dating back 166 years: in 1845, Franz Liszt organized a three-day music festival in Beethoven's home town to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the master composer's birth. It was an absolute novelty at the time to celebrate a deceased composer's day of birth with a concert series.Liszt wasn't just a gifted composer and virtuoso. He was also a skilled culture manager and an inspiration for the current director of Bonn's Beethovenfest, Ilona Schmiel."Of course it's a gift to have someone like Franz Liszt as a predecessor and founder of the festival. As a composer, he was a superstar, and he idolized Beethoven," Schmiel told Deutsche Welle."Although he had become wealthy by virtue of being a piano virtuoso, he always wanted to give something back to society," she added.One of the concerts that the visionary cultural manager Franz Liszt organized in 1845 in honor of Beethoven, and in which he himself participated as a pianist and conductor, will be repeated this year on October 7, 2011 in the Bonn Beethovenhalle.Performing on period instruments, the ensemble Concerto Köln will present a "mammoth" program, typical of the mid-19th century, featuring Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, his Coriolan Overture, the "Harp" Quartet and the Fifth Piano Concerto, among other works."Zukunftsmusik" is the motto of this year's Beethovenfest. It's a phrase that evokes multiple associations. Literally, it translates to "music of the future," but in a broader sense, the term is often used to suggest visions or hopes about what the future may hold."Zukunftsmusik" also hints at the style of composition that Franz Liszt helped establish together with Richard Wagner. Known as the New German School, it represented a major cultural movement and produced new genres like the symphonic poem.Another program of extraordinary proportions will celebrate Liszt on September 24. The "Liszt Night" will illuminate a wide variety of the facets of the composer's cultural heritage and work. Ten concerts are set to explore Liszt's Hungarian roots and the folklore of his homeland as well as the composer's works for piano, organ, orchestra and his songs. Festival-goers can look forward to the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic and the Gypsy Devils with Paul Gulda and Goran Bregovic.They'll be joined, in the overall festival, by stars from the world of classical music including violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianists Helene Grimaud, Murray Perahia and Arcadi Volodos. The event will also play host to three orchestras in residence: the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with conductor Paavo Järvi, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under conductor Manfred Honeck and the London Symphony with conductors Sir Colin Davis and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.A number of well-known soloists will also make their Beethovenfest debut this year, like German violinist Julian Rachlin and the Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna.