The passion behind the genius Young Anna Holz (Kruger) a student at the Vienna Music Conservatory is summoned to the offices of Herr Schlemmer Beethoven's publisher. His Ninth Symphony is about to be premiered and Schlemmer who is dying of cancer needs a copyist to complete the score. Anna eagerly accepts despite his warning that Beethoven (Harris) is a monster. As her work of copying down the music of Beethoven proceeds Anna is drawn into the maestro's tortured and inspired world. She sees their collaboration as a God-sent opportunity to prove her own talent as a composer;[show more] he glimpses in her a pure soul who might help him realize the culmination of his art - the creation of the last string quartets the most sublime and spiritual music ever written. Beethoven reveals his growing need and affection for Anna as they work together on the string quartets. She boldly shows Beethoven her own work. Thoughtlessly he derides it and she leaves him in despair. Desperate Anna accepts her longtime paramour Martin's proposal of marriage. Beethoven storms after her - she must choose between Martin and him. Anna tries to flee Vienna but cannot; her destiny is linked to Beethoven's. She returns to finish their work and finds him dying. From his dictation she copies the last of the quartets. His work on earth done he frees her to become what he tells her she was born to be - a composer.