Support the Beethoven Center

The The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San José State University is funded through a combination of public and private donors. We welcome your support for the programs of the Beethoven Center and  the American Beethoven Society.  


One of the easiest ways to support the Beethoven Center is to sign up for a membership in the American Beethoven Society. Memberships are available at various levels (starting at just $25.00 per year for students) and include the following benefits:

  • Subscription to the semi-annual Beethoven Newsletter.
  • Invitations to and notices of important Beethoven festivals in the United States
  • Invitations to and first preference on European and American tours
  • Discounts on Beethoven Center merchandise
  • Non-profit gift tax deduction
  • Special announcements of events sponsored by the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies 

To purchase a membership for yourself or as a gift, go to the American Beethoven Society website. 

Beethoven Gateway

Established in 1990, the Beethoven Gateway is the most sophisticated research tool for Beethoven studies ever created. Designed for any level of scholarly research, the Gateway is available online at no charge.

Comprehensive in scope, it lists books and articles on Beethoven as well as primary sources (music manuscripts and first editions) published from Beethoven's time until the present. Through detailed descriptions and in-depth indexing, the Beethoven Gateway helps researchers study a remarkably broad range of subject areas, including topics in the history of medicine, psychology, politics, and religion as well as music history and theory. 

For information about supporting this project, please download the Beethoven Gateway Donor Brochure and Sponsorship Form [pdf].

Sponsor Information

Beethoven Gateway sponsorships start as low as $30. Sponsors' names, and those they wish to honor or commemorate, will be recognized in the Beethoven Gateway and on this website. For examples, see the list of sponsors below.

For a price list of sponsorship costs for first editions and manuscripts, click here. [pdf]

To sponsor online with a credit card, see our Beethoven Gateway eMarket portal.

Lists of Sponsors 

Annual Operating Expenses

  • Research assistant (half-time): $32,000
  • Student assistants: $12,800
  • Supplies and photocopying: $1,000
  • Annual database maintenance: $1,105
  • Equipment upgrades: $1,000
  • Administrative fees: $2,395
  • TOTAL: $50,300

Funding History

Major grants from the California State Library (1990-1991) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (1993-1995) helped launch the project. From 1996-2000, the database received support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Other foundations and individual donors are listed on the database website.

The project is currently operating at a reduced level with funds donated from the Farrington Historical Society and donors to the American Beethoven Society's annual campaign.

To endow the Beethoven Gateway database permanently would cost $1,006,000. 

Other Donor Opportunities 

Young Pianist’s Beethoven Competition

The Young Pianist's Beethoven Competition is an annual competition for high school students in California. Founded in 1987 by Celia Méndez, a private piano teacher, its purpose is to serve as a rich, artistic educational experience for high school students to better understand and interpret Beethoven's piano sonatas. Consistent with this purpose, three winners are awarded a two-hour master class with an internationally renowned artist. Additional awards are performing opportunities and a monetary prize. 

Operating Expenses

  • Guest artist's honorarium: $5,000
  • Student monetary awards: $1,125
  • Judges' honorarium: $400
  • Mailing labels (5,000): $500
  • Printing of brochures: $500
  • Postage for brochure mailing: $900
  • Luncheon for contestants and teachers: $400
  • CDs of guest artist for the six finalists: $150
  • TOTAL: $8,975

The Competition is partially funded by an endowment given to the Center by Horace Dodge and donations from individuals.

To fully endow the competition would cost $100,000.


Beethoven Manuscript Club

Help the Beethoven Center build its rare collections by joining the Beethoven Manuscript Club. Members of the club will be contacted when the Beethoven Center receives a special offer or is attempting to bid for a Beethoven manuscript, first edition, or other treasure at auction.

To join the club, download the Beethoven Manuscript Club Membership Form [pdf] or contact us for more information.


Give While You Shop!

You also can help support The American Beethoven Society through, a service that allows Internet shoppers to direct a portion of their purchase to the American Beethoven Society.


Planned Giving

Planned gifts can provide you an immediate income tax, charitable deduction, and steady cash flow during your lifetime.

To find out more on how to benefit the Center through a bequest, charitable gift annuity, or charitable remainder trust, please download our Beethoven Center Planned Giving [pdf] brochure.


Donating Materials

The Beethoven Center welcomes donations of Beethoven materials under the following circumstances:

  1. The materials are in reasonably good condition.
  2. Materials duplicated in the Center's collection may be sold.
  3. The donor covers cost of mailing and insurance when applicable.
  4. If an appraisal is needed, the donor arranges this in advance of delivery of the materials. The Beethoven Center cannot place values on materials or pay for appraisals. Exceptions may be made for large collections. 

Donations should be sent to the Beethoven Center to the Curator's attention and include an explanatory cover letter with name, address, phone number, and email address of the donor. In the cover letter, please provide as much information as possible on the provenance or history of the material if applicable. Donations of large collections should be discussed with the Curator in advance.

Beethoven Center Funding

Since the Center opened in 1985, San José State University has provided staff salaries, space, supplies, and services and has funded some of our special projects. The Center is a program of the College of Humanities and the Arts and a special collection of the University Library.

The American Beethoven Society supports the Center programs, including publication of The Beethoven Journal and The Beethoven Newsletter; acquisition of special materials such as manuscripts, first and early editions, and art objects and prints; support of scholarly research; and other activities. Endowment campaigns are underway to fund the major projects of the Center. 

The Beethoven Center also has received grants for specific projects from local and national foundations and other agencies, including:

  • The Eva B. Buck Trust
  • The California State Library
  • The Compton Foundation
  • The Farrington Historical Foundation
  • The Hugh Stuart Center Charitable Trust
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities
  • The Valley Foundation