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Welcome to
The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies


Book cover of Lewis Lockwood's book Beethoven Lives

Lewis Lockwood talks about his new book Beethoven’s Lives with Erica Buurman

March 11 @ 12 noon PT Zoom

Join this virtual Zoom event that explores Beethoven’s Lives by Lewis Lockwood, himself a much-lauded Beethoven biographer, tells the story of Beethoven biography, from the earliest attempts made directly after the composer's death to the present day.  

This is a free event and all are welcome.

Registration is required.

Image of Mark Evan Bond's book cover

Mark Evan Bonds talks about his new book Beethoven: Variations on a Life with Erica Buurman

April 8 @ 2:00 pm PT Zoom

Despite the ups and downs of his personal life and professional career-even in the face of deafness-Beethoven remained remarkably consistent in his most basic convictions about his art. This inner consistency, the music historian Mark Evan Bonds argues, provides the key to understanding the composer's life and works.

This is a free event and all are welcome.

Registration is required.

Kinderman Book Cover

William Kinderman talks about his new book Beethoven: A Political Artist in Revolutionary Times with Erica Buurman

May 6 @ 12:00 noon PT Zoom

In his new book, Beethoven: A Political Artist in Revolutionary Times, William Kinderman presents Beethoven as a civically engaged thinker faced with severe challenges. The composer lived through many tumultuous events—the French Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Congress of Vienna among them. Make sure to join us to learn more about our favorite composer!

This is a free event and all are welcome.

Registration is required.


The Accidental Geographer: A Podcast with Vincent Del Casino, SJSU Provost and Dr. Erica Buurman

Provost of San Jose State University Vincent del Casino speaks with Dr. Erica Buurman, Director of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies. Together, they dive into the work of Beethoven and consider the various contributions his symphonies made in the music industry. 

If you think you know all there is to know about Beethoven, think again!

To listen to the podcast, click here.

 Example of virtual exhibit


Beethoven Beyond Borders: Anniversary Celebrations, Politics, and Global Impact since 1870 new virtual exhibition

See the Beethoven's Center's newest and completely online exhibition which 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.

To see a virtual walkthrough of the exhibition, click here to watch the walkthrough through YouTube! 





 Julian Jacobson



Beethoven Recital with Julian Jacobson

All-Beethoven piano recital with Julian Jacobson (President, Beethoven Piano Society of Europe), recorded in the UK for the American Beethoven Society.

Polonaise op. 89
Six Bagatelles op. 126
Sonata op. 53 “Waldstein”


Click here to view the video on YouTube!

Headshot of Laura Tunbridge

Laura Tunbridge talks about her new book, Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces with Erica Buurman

If you missed the Beethoven Center's virtual Zoom event welcoming Laura Tunbridge, author of newly released Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces (Yale University Press) there is no need to fret. We have uploaded the event onto our YouTube channel!

Click here to see the recording!


COVID-19 Update

Due to Covid-19, most of the Beethoven Center’s services have moved online. 

Visit our Hours and Location page here to learn more.

Beethoven @250

Sparkling Musicale

Did you miss the American Beethoven Society’s 14th Annual Sparkling Musicale Virtual event? Well no fear, you can still hear this recital for a $10 fee at the link below:

Click here to purchase the on-demand video

 Beethoven Conversation #5

Beethoven Conversations, no. 5.

The second movement of Beethoven’s Quartet op. 132 includes four bars in duple meter marked “l’istesso tempo.” The original second violinist, Karl Holz, indicated a metronome mark for this passage that is different from how modern quartets perform it. What do you think?. What did Beethoven Beethoven actually mean?

Check out the link below:


Beethoven Ball

Postponed - Beethoven Ball

We’ve taken the sad but inevitable decision to postpone our September Beethoven Ball until 2021. 

Beethoven Conversation 4

Beethoven Conversations, no. 4

Ed Dusinberre shares some of his insights into how the Takács Quartet makes interpretative decisions about Beethoven’s curious performance markings.

Check out the link below:


 Beethoven Conversation 3

Beethoven Conversations, no. 3

Beethoven Conversations, no. 3.

Was Beethoven making a joke about bad waltzing in the second movement of his String Quartet op. 132?

Check out the link below:


Beethoven conversations, number 2

Beethoven Conversations, no. 2

Beethoven Conversations, no. 2. Hurdy gurdy supplied by the Beethoven Center's own Eric Gjovaag.

Check out the link below:


Erica Buurman (Beethoven Center, San Jose), Edward Dusinberre (Takács Quartet) and Nicholas Mathew (UC Berkeley)

Beethoven Conversations, no. 1

Our chamber music symposium was postponed due to COVID-19, but even a pandemic can’t stop us talking about Beethoven online. Our director Erica Buurman chats to Ed Dusinberre (Takács Quartet) and Nick Mathew (UC Berkeley) about Austrian folk fiddling and the Alla danza tedesca from Beethoven’s Quartet Opus 130.
Look out for more in the coming weeks!

Check out the link below:


Beethoven composing

New library catalog launched!

Find out about changes to the Beethoven Gateway

Beethoven portrait

See what's new in the Beethoven Center's

Image Database

We need your help in building our digital collections, to make our unique materials freely available online! Please download our brochure or donate online.

 Beethoven's friends

Join the American Beethoven Society