The Beethoven Fund

The Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children, the brainchild of Ann Rachlin, is a charity dedicated to helping hearing-impaired children learn to communicate through musical speech therapy. Ann inspired many great musicians and actors of the world to perform for the benefit of the Fund, donating their services to help deaf children in Beethoven’s name. Lorin Maazel, André Previn, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Peter Ustnov, Sir Alec Guinness, Anne Sophie-Mutter, Claudio Abbado, Mitsuko Uchida, Nancy Wilson and Dame Evelyn Glennie were among the great artistes who donated their talent to The Beethoven Fund. Monies raised provided specially designed musical instruments to help the children learn to speak. Claus Bang, the world-famous Danish music therapist, became Vice President of the Fund and frequently visited the United Kingdom to give workshops to British teachers of the deaf, sponsored by The Beethoven Fund.

Ann ran The Beethoven Fund in her spare time. There were no paid workers, no office rentals, and no high overheads. With the cooperation of great musicians, actors and members of The Royal Family, Gala Concerts organised by Ann, at the Festival Hall and Barbican raised many thousands of pounds for the purchase of instruments and the training of teachers of the deaf.

In 2003, The Beethoven Fund was incorporated with The Elizabeth Foundation for Deaf Children, a nationwide charity devoted to the needs of deaf babies and toddlers. Ann is now President of both charities and takes an active interest and visits whenever she can. In 20i7, she arranged to meet one of the Foundation’s Patrons, Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, at the Elizabeth Foundation (see photograph)

In 1986 Ann received an M.B.E. from the Queen for her services to music and deaf children.