Ludwig van Beethoven was born 247 years ago. Just as his music defies description, it's impossible to explain why the impact of his musical genius has continued unabated across the globe for so long. In any event it's worth celebrating afresh year after year – and not just on Beethoven's big birthdays. Three concerts this season are devoted to aspects of Beethoven that are less well known including a concert performance of the opera "Leonore" and therefore the original version of "Fidelio", the C major Mass and the oratorio "Christ on the Mount of Olives". But familiar and frequently heard works have their dedicated place in the programme too. One highlight to look out for is the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln performing Beethoven's complete symphonic works.