Copying Beethoven

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Copying Beethoven
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Agnieszka Holland
Produced by Sidney Kimmel
Stephen J. Rivele
Michael Taylor
Christopher Wilkinson
Written by Stephen J. Rivele
Christopher Wilkinson
Starring Ed Harris
Diane Kruger
Cinematography Ashley Rowe
Edited by Alex Mackie
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • November 10, 2006 (2006-11-10)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $6,191,746[1]

Copying Beethoven is a 2006 dramatic film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and directed by Agnieszka Holland which gives a fictional take on the triumphs and heartaches of Ludwig van Beethoven's last years.


It is set in 1824 as Beethoven (Ed Harris) is finishing his Ninth Symphony. He is plagued by deafness, loneliness and personal trauma. A fictional character, a new copyist, Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger) is engaged to help the composer finish preparing the score for the first performance. Anna is a young conservatory student and aspiring composer. Her understanding of his work is such that she corrects mistakes he has made, while her personality opens a door into his private world. Beethoven is initially skeptical, but slowly comes to trust Anna's assistance and eventually grows fond of her. By the time the piece is performed, her presence is a necessity and she helps him conduct the premiere from a spot hidden amongst the orchestra.

After the premiere, they collaborate and become closer. His eccentricities become more and more troublesome, but Anna continues to provide companionship. She eventually transcribes his compositions as he simply talks her through them.


Artistic license[edit]

The working manuscript of the score is attributed to two copyists,[2] both of whom were male, not a single female as depicted in the film.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received a score of 59 and negative reviews of 28% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 80 reviews.


  1. ^ "Copying Beethoven". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ BBC News (22 May 2003). "Beethoven's Ninth fetches £2.1m". BBC. 

External links[edit]