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Handover with all honors, leather and certificate: Malte Boecker (left), director of the Beethoven House Bonn, is the first honorary member and bearer of the honorary habit of the “Beethoven Chapter Germany”, which is based at Harley-Davidson Bonn. Here together with the managing director of Harley-Davidson Bonn, Jan Schneider, with the corresponding certificate of appointment. Photo: HD Bonn/Frank Pannes
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The “Beethoven Chapter Germany” of the Harley Owners Group at Harley-Davidson Bonn awards the director of the Beethoven House, Malte Boecker, the “cowl of honor”


Bonn, July 2021 - The “Beethoven Chapter Germany” of the Harley Owners Group at Harley-Davidson Bonn awards the director of the Beethoven House, Malte Boecker, the “cowl of honor” and names him an “Honorary Member”. And thus the first honorary member of the still young, local Harley-Davidson Chapter.

It was probably not an appointment like any other for Beethoven House boss Malte Boecker - but still one that he clearly enjoyed very much: The still young Bonn "Beethoven Chapter Germany" of the Harley Owers Group (HOG) had together with the The Harley-Davidson dealer on Bornheimer Strasse who supported it invited the native New Yorker to appoint him as the first official “Honorary Member”.

“Naming a Harley Owners Group chapter after a world-famous composer of classical music is really not typical of the scene and admittedly initially raised some eyebrows all around and among a number of founding members. But when asked what could better represent our hometown and therefore our origins, there was actually only this answer,” said HD Bonn spokesman and HOG member Klaus Schmuck in his welcome. “But now we are all proud of this special and unique naming.”

“Beethoven is an icon from Bonn. He loved freedom, wildness and rich sound. That’s what connects us all here. The Beethoven Chapter is a wonderful idea and a successful bridge between the worlds of classical music and rock,” says Boecker.

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FREEDOM – Freedom is a key word for Beethoven’s work and life. And that's it for many Harley-Davidson fans. The head of the Bonn Beethoven House, Malte Boecker, deliberately signed the life-size figure of the world-famous composer in the entrance to the HD Shop on Bornheimer Straße. Photo: HD Bonn/Frank Pannes

“We were even able to go a little further…” adds HD Bonn Managing Director Jan Schneider, “…because together with the chapter actors we managed to officially found the company with the associated registration and certificate on December 16, 2020 at the HOG umbrella organization in to enforce London in an expedited manner. On Beethoven's 250th birthday. Not an easy undertaking for a large organization with around 850,000 members worldwide. But now the central date of the Beethoven anniversary year is also the founding date of the chapter. More is not possible…".

Yes, at least on this day. The three Beethoven chapter directors Uwe Schurwanz, Andreas Geampauli and Dominik Lieberenz then presented Malte Boecker with the most important “insignia” of an honorary member.

First of all, it was the typical “motorcycle cowl” with the traditional “Beethoven Chapter Germany” back patch. Including the internationally common “HOG eagle” on the HD leather vest. On the front there is a chest patch with “Malte” and “Honorary Member”. Because: In Harley circles, the “you” and addressing people by their first name is a sign of connection and togetherness.

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There was also a stylishly designed certificate in the frame. “If only because a leather habit on the wall in your office could really irritate guests, even if it says Beethoven,” as the chapter directors noted with a laugh.

In “return,” Malte Boecker presented the chapter board with a Beethoven cap from 2020 in memory of the symbolic year the chapter was founded and a shirt with the very appropriate slogan “LUDWIG LIVES!” Boecker explained: “It’s like a classic jersey. Swap in a friendly match. What makes me particularly happy about your initiative is that someone who was born 250 years ago obviously still inspires so many people today. You too."

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Beethoven House director Malte Boeker (left): A stylish Bonn Harley hoodie with a hood is of course part of the Beethoven Chapter's honorary habit - and HD Bonn managing director Jan Schneider presented it to him personally. Photo: HD Bonn/Frank Pannes

Boecker invited the Beethoven chapter and the Bonn HD team to a tour of Beethoven's birthplace and offered to take the tour of the museum themselves.

As part of a tour of the HD workshop and the HD shop, Malte Boecker signed the life-size figure of the composer in the entrance area "...with a key word for Beethoven, namely FREEDOM", on which visitors from all countries can immortalize themselves.

But it wasn't just the bikes that caught the attention of the Beethoven House boss, but also unusual rooms that could provide a setting for unusual, joint sponsorship events. The ideas flowed - and in the end everyone was sure: We will do something together that will honor Bonn's greatest son and the work of the Beethoven House. HD Managing Director Jan Schneider: “At the moment it is still a thing of the future, but certainly not for long. We are happy to offer our help and cooperation and are always ready to talk!”

“Overall, it’s a really well-rounded story,” said Malte Boecker at the end. “The Harley owner community is networked worldwide. I think it’s great that the Bonn Beethoven Chapter is now also promoting the Beethoven city of Bonn in its activities at home and abroad.”

Text: HD Bonn Photo credit: Frank Pannes

John Doe
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