Great Performances: Now Hear This

Great Performances: Now Hear This “Beethoven’s Ghost”

Air date: 10/29/2021

Series 2 Finale of Great Performances: Now Hear This, “Beethoven’s Ghost,” Premieres October 29 on PBS for Halloween



The Series 2 finale of Great Performances: Now Hear This takes a dramatic approach to interpreting the complex musical mind of composer Ludwig van Beethoven, who wrote nearly 800 works in 45 years. Host and violinist Scott Yoo and his team of fellow musicians, including Anna Polonsky (piano), Bion Tsang (cello), Toby Appel (viola) and Emily Daggett Smith (second violin), visit a historic manor in the Berkshires to better understand Beethoven by performing and recording some of his most personal work, including his famous “Ghost Trio.” Unbeknownst to them, they’ve summoned the ghost of the composer, trailed by the spirit of Sigmund Freud who attempts to analyze him. Interweaving documentary, performance and theatrical storytelling, this haunting special episode explores the mind of the composer through dramatized conversations between the spirits of Beethoven and Freud. Great Performances: Now Hear This “Beethoven’s Ghost” premieres Friday, October 29 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app for Halloween. The episode is part of #PBSForTheArts, a multiplatform campaign that celebrates the arts in America. For more than 50 years, PBS has been the media destination for the arts, presenting dance, theater, opera, visual arts and concerts to Americans in every corner of the country.

Now Hear This Overview:

Premiering in 2019, documentary miniseries Great Performances: Now Hear This merges music, storytelling, travel and culture as host Scott Yoo chases the secret lives and histories of some of the greatest musicians and compositions ever written. Series 1 features baroque era composers Vivaldi, Bach, Scarlatti and Handel. Series 2 features Classical era composers Haydn, Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven. Series 3 is slated to premiere spring 2022 on PBS. Yoo is the Chief Conductor of the Mexico City Philharmonic, Music Director of Festival Mozaic, Conductor of the Colorado College Music Festival, and the Founder of the Medellín Festicámara, a chamber music and social program in Colombia. He has conducted the London Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony and San Francisco Symphony, among many others.

Short Listing:
Go inside the mind of Beethoven as Scott Yoo seeks to make a recording of his most personal music. 

Long Listing:

Go inside the mind of a genius as host Scott Yoo and fellow musicians undertake a recording of Beethoven’s most personal music at a historic Berkshires manor to explore the composer’s brilliant career—where they are visited by some unexpected guests.

Series Overview:
Throughout its nearly 50-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Showcasing a diverse range of artists from around the world, the series has earned 67 Emmy Awards and six Peabody Awards. Peek behind the curtain at the Great Performances website for exclusive videos, interviews, photos, full episodes and more. The series is produced by The WNET Group. 

Production Credits:

Now Hear This was created by producer, writer and director Harry Lynch and is a production of Arcos Film + Music. Harry Lynch, Scott Yoo and Richard Lim are executive producers. Great Performances is produced by The WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.


Series funding for Great Performances was made possible by The Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Seton J. Melvin, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, The Starr Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith and public television viewers.

Websites:,, @GPerfPBS,, #NowHearThisOnPBS #PBSForTheArts

About The WNET Group 

The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the community-supported home of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; NJ PBS, New Jersey’s statewide public television network; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider; and newsroom NJ Spotlight News. Through these channels and streaming platforms, The WNET Group brings arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month. The WNET Group’s award-winning productions include signature PBS series NatureGreat PerformancesAmerican MastersPBS NewsHour Weekend and Amanpour and Company and trusted local news programs MetroFocus and NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi. Inspiring curiosity and nurturing dreams, The WNET Group’s award-winning Kids’ Media and Education team produces the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase, interactive Mission US history games, and resources for families, teachers and caregivers. A leading nonprofit public media producer for nearly 60 years, The WNET Group presents and distributes content that fosters lifelong learning, including multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty, jobs, economic opportunity, social justice, understanding and the environment. Through Passport, station members can stream new and archival programming anytime, anywhere. The WNET Group represents the best in public media. Join us. 



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Scott Yoo and musicians watched by Beethoven and Freud in Great Performances: Now Hear This "Beethoven's Ghost." Photo by Arcos Film + Music.

Scott Yoo and musicians watched by Beethoven and Freud in Great Performances: Now Hear This "Beethoven's Ghost." Photo by Arcos Film + Music.

Scott Yoo playing violin in Great Performances: Now Hear This "Beethoven's Ghost." Photo by Arcos Film + Music.

Scott Yoo and others gathered at the table raising a glass in Great Performances: Now Hear This "Beethoven's Ghost." Photo by Arcos Film + Music.

Scott Yoo in Great Performances: Now Hear This "Beethoven's Ghost." Photo by Arcos Film + Music.