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KUSC takes ‘Little Ludwig’ on LA road trip

As a prelude to My Beethoven week, radio station staffers take the composer’s bobblehead to various venues

Little Ludwig in LA
Bobblehead about town Little Ludwig (Photo collage/Holly Wilder)

Ludwig van Beethoven, in the form of a bobblehead nicknamed “Little Ludwig,” has been touring Southern California hotspots, courtesy of Classical KUSC staffers. It’s all part of the radio station’s My Beethoven week, which begins Monday, Oct. 5, and culminates in a live LA Phil radio broadcast of Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth symphonies conducted by Gustavo Dudamel on Friday, Oct. 9.

KUSC listeners have been submitting their Beethoven stories and requests on the website. (There’s still time to add yours.)

Starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, KUSC will start every hour of the workday with music of Beethoven, as requested by his fans. On Friday, KUSC hosts Brian Lauritzen and Alan Chapman will anchor the live LA Phil broadcast of the famed Symphony No. 5 — with the four most famous opening notes in classical music — and the “Pastoral” Symphony No. 6.

The diminutive bobblehead has been photographed at various locations in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and throughout Los Angeles, with photos and clever comments posted on the station’s Twitter account, using the hashtag #LittleLudwig.

From Disney Concert Hall to Disneyland

Since one of his first stops was the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the LA Phil, KUSC staffers decided to follow that with a trip to Disneyland. Here’s what assistant program director Kelsey McConnell tweeted about his Anaheim visit:

First stop: Mouse Ears. #LittleLudwig was thrilled to find them in his size.

About to take #LittleLudwig on It’s a Small World. Will he like the song?

“Needs more timpani.” #LittleLudwig on It’s a Small World.

#LittleLudwig LOVED Star Tours. Says he wants to replace his baton with a light saber. Trying to talk him out of it.

Little Ludwig also “got his kicks on Route 66,” was a whiz at carnival games at the Los Angeles County Fair (“It’s all in the wrist. Just like conducting.”) and visited the ArcLight Cinemas, where he was a bit confused about the concept of movies. (“Told him it’s kinda like opera, but flat.”)

He traveled to LAX, The Grove, the marina in Santa Barbara, the Palm Springs Art Museum and that city’s trendy Saguaro hotel.

He’ll continue nodding his approval of new LA area destinations during My Beethoven week.

“When we started asking our listeners for their Beethoven stories, we realized his music holds a special place in a lot of hearts,” McConnell said. “That’s why we’re filling the airwaves with his music for My Beethoven week.”

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