Beethoven Beyond Borders: Anniversary Celebrations, Politics, and Global Impact since 1870
A virtual exhibition of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, San Jose
For instructions on how to navigate the virtual exhibition, click here.
The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, an event whose significance extends far beyond the composer’s native Germany. Beethoven’s impact on global culture rests not only in his musical compositions, but also in his iconic status as the archetypal creative genius and defiant artist. This image of Beethoven has been shaped not only by the events in his life, but also by the way he has been appropriated as a cultural symbol in different national and political contexts over the past two centuries.
This exhibition explores Beethoven as a cultural figure not only in today’s global landscape, but also at previous anniversary celebrations since the centenary of his birth in 1870. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the Beethoven events that took place in 2020, previous Beethoven celebrations were also shaped by historical circumstances, from the unification in Germany in the nineteenth century to the events of the Cold War. The exhibition features images, music, video lectures, and artifacts from the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, presented for the first time in virtual reality.
Curators: Dierdre Brennan, Erica Buurman, Randyn Gries, Patricia Stroh
Historian: David B. Dennis
Music curator: Muskan Parashar
Artist/VR Designer: Tyler Stannard
VR Consultant: Jon Oakes
Funded by an Artistic Excellence Grant from San José State University’s College of Humanities and the Arts
See also our online exhibits.