Superman Meets Beethoven -

11 June 2010
10.00 – 17.00
Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

What’s Next for the West?

Until World War I, Beethoven was the hero of the European ideal of civilisation. His Ninth Symphony was a musical expression of the hope for the elevation and fraternisation of humankind through art and beauty. Two World Wars later, this ideal has become far from self-evident: in spite of music, in spite of the Ninth Symphony, humans still turned out to be capable of atrocities.

What ideal of civilisation can inspire us now? Is Superman our new hero, who stands for science, technology, and human progress? Should we turn other, non-Western values into our ideal? Or has Beethoven’s ideal retained its validity after all?


Published in

Journal Nexus

Nexus 57

Beethoven of Superman?

Beethoven of Superman?

Dutch publication with contributions of the speakers at the Nexus Conference 2010. Who is our true hero, Superman or Beethoven? What is the secret of a world in which all people are united?


France, 1929 - 2020

George Steiner

cultural philosopher

Turkey, 1950

Seyla Benhabib

philosopher of cosmopolitanism

Morocco, 1953

Dominique de Villepin

French statesman and former Prime Minister

Greece, 1958

Robert Kagan

political commentator

Canada, 1943

Margaret MacMillan

historian, international relations expert
NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the UPA Photo Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Robert Goddyn)

Singapore, 1948

Kishore Mahbubani

influential Asian thinker and China watcher

Romania, 1957

Horia-Roman Patapievici

European humanist and cultural activist

United States, 1953

Michael J. Sandel

political philosopher and Socratic educator

Germany, 1939

Volker Schlöndorff

filmmaker and director

United States, 1930

Russell Sherman