Current Exhibitions


Beethoven Piano Mystique

Exhibit curated by Patricia Stroh and John Wilson

Beethoven portrait


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Beethoven Center, Room 580
Current hours

Accessible for the disabled

See visitor information for directions and parking

Exhibition closes June 30, 2018

Did Beethoven play for Mozart? Did he remove the legs from his fortepiano? Why is Sonata no. 17 called "The Tempest?"

This new exhibit explores different perceptions of Beethoven's piano music, his relationship with the fortepiano, and how his compositions influenced the development of the instrument. Using a "mythbusting" format, with interactive text displays, the exhibit addresses many legends about the composer and his piano music to clarify events and facts about his creative process and piano compositions. Kiosks equipped with iPads will be available for visitors to listen to selected excerpts from Beethoven’s works.


  • Themes include:
    Beethoven at the Keyboard: Instruments and concerts
    Fortepiano vs. Piano: What's the difference? (with display of actual instrument parts and drawings)
    Beethoven's Piano Sonatas: Stories behind the titles
    Beethoven's Variations: Where Did THAT Theme Come From?
    Capturing Beethoven's Inspiration in Art


Curators: Patricia Stroh and John Wilson

Assistant Curators: Svetlana Goder and Timothy Neece


Sponsored by the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, a San Jose State University Artistic Excellence Programming Grant, and the American Beethoven Society


See also our online exhibits.


Guevara Lock of Beethoven's Hair

Lock of Beethoven's Hair

The "Guevara Lock of Beethoven's Hair," which has been on continuous display for the last twelve years, has been removed from the Center's exhibits for an indefinite period. Please stay tuned for updates on our hair exhibit page.