Beethoven was a contemporary and friend of the French Revolution. His symphonies mark a fundamental shift from past traditions. Portraits of the period show a tortured young man, full of passion and inner conflict. He was nicknamed “the Spaniard” due to his dark skin. In her short novel “Beethoven was one sixteenth black” Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer – very active during the anti-Apartheid struggle – establishes a link between Beethoven and Africa. This book has inspired Italian composer Fabio Vacchi to write an overture for Beethovenian orchestra and African percussions, which will be presented jointly with Beethoven’s most revolutionary and daring symphony “Eroica”.