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As often as popular culture name-checks Beethoven and his work, you'd think the 18th-century composer had the branding power of reality TV's Kardashian family.
As the Utah Symphony launches a seasonlong Beethoven cycle with the performance of the Ninth Symphony (on 9/9), we've collected a selected list of pop-culture references honoring the composer's lasting legacy. The variety of entries is a reminder of why music civilians know more about the life and work of Beethoven than they do of fellows composers such as Schoenberg, Schubert or Schumann:
• Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is featured prominently throughout the 1998 Bruce Willis action film "Die Hard."
• Schroeder, in the comic strip "Peanuts," worships Beethoven.
• In the 1989 film "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," Beethoven is kidnapped by Bill and Ted in part to help them get a passing grade in their high-school history class.
• Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band's disco instrumental "A Fifth of Beethoven" used the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to become a No. 1 hit in 1976.
• Beethoven is the name of a St. Bernard in the long-running film series of the same name.
• "Beethoven (I Love to Listen To)" is a song by the Eurythmics from their 1987 album "Savage."
• Beethoven is the name of a crater on the planet Mercury.
• "Eroica," the name of Beethoven's Third Symphony, is also the name of a 1949 Austrian film and 2003 BBC film about Beethoven.
• 1815 Beethoven is a main-belt asteroid discovered in 1932.
• The Beethoven Peninsula forms the southwest part of Alexander Island, which lies off the Antarctic.
• The alt-rock band Camper Van Beethoven is most famous for its song and album "Take the Skinheads Bowling."
• "Roll Over Beethoven" is a 1956 hit single by Chuck Berry and covered many times, most notably by The Beatles, Iron Maiden and Electric Light Orchestra.
• "Immortal Beloved" is a 1994 film about the mysteries of the life of Beethoven, played by Gary Oldman, who has also portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald and Sid Vicious on film.
• "Beethoven's Last Night" is a 2000 concept album by classical-metal group Trans-Siberian Orchestra that purports to tell the story of the last night of Beethoven's life, as the devil comes to collect his soul.
• "33 Variations" is a play by Moisés Kaufman, inspired by Beethoven's eponymous work, and it debuted on Broadway in 2009, starring Jane Fonda.
• The 2006 movie "Copying Beethoven," starring Ed Harris as Beethoven, was a fictionalized story of the composer's last days.
• In Stanley Kubrick's film version of "A Clockwork Orange," Wendy Carlos' organ-heavy version of the Ninth Symphony plays a pivotal role.
• The 2004 Ray Charles biopic features Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata."
• In the movie "Dead Poets Society," the scene where Robin Williams helps his students understand the power of literature while playing football is set to the Ninth Symphony.
• Walt Disney's "Fantasia" includes 22 minutes of the "Pastoral" Symphony.
• In the "Ocean's Three and a Half" episode of "The Family Guy," a deaf Beethoven is seen mumbling the "Ode to Joy" segment of the Ninth Symphony to himself.
• The lyrics of the chorus to the ska-punk band Citizen Fish song "Give Me Beethoven" is "Give me Beethoven or give me death!"