Program Funding Opportunities

Donor Opportunities

We welcome your support for the programs of the American Beethoven Society and The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San José State University. To find out more about our current priorities, please select from the menu below.

Beethoven Gateway

The Beethoven Gateway (formerly the Beethoven Bibliography Database)

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.

Researchers can find the causes of Beethoven's deafness, the performance history of the "Ode to Joy," the enduring mystery of the Immortal Beloved, Beethoven's complex relationships with Napoleon and Goethe, the current locations of the widely scattered manuscripts and first editions of his string quartets, and thousands of other topics. A complete list of possible search terms is available in the online Beethoven Thesaurus.

An ongoing project, the database is continually enhanced and updated with new publications as they appear. In a recent scholarly review the Music Library Association journal Notes called the database's indexing and search capabilities "truly extraordinary." To reach the Beethoven Gateway, access it through the Center's webpage.

Annual operating expenses for the Beethoven Gateway

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.


Beethoven Journal

Help Support The Beethoven Journal!

The Beethoven Journal is a unique periodical in the history of Beethoven studies. Written for everyone interested in Beethoven--from university professors and performers to devoted amateurs and music lovers of all ages--the Journal:

  • Contains groundbreaking articles by internationally renowned scholars and performers such as Theodore Albrecht, Barry Cooper, Lewis Lockwood, Maynard Solomon, Willy Hess, Susan Kagan, Jos van der Zanden, and Max Rudolf.
  • Contains the only up-to-date survey of the auction market for Beethoven manuscripts and first editions.
  • Publicizes all new Beethoven books and scores in an annotated "New Books" column
  • Reviews important new books, scores, and recordings.
  • Provides information on new rare acquisitions at the Beethoven Center.
  • Provides a forum for lively interactions in "Letters to the Editor."
  • Announces upcoming Beethoven festivals and events.

The Journal appears twice a year. Each issue ranges from 48 to 72 pages. Over 100 of the leading performing arts and university libraries all over the world subscribe, including the Cambridge University Library, Juilliard School of Music, Princeton University, and the Eastman School of Music. All members of the American Beethoven Society receive copies as a benefit of their annual memberships.

The Journal has won several awards from the prestigious Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Engaging and informative, each issue increases our knowledge of the wonderful accomplishments of Beethoven.

Annual operating costs of The Beethoven Journal

Printing: $10,620
Graphic design: $7,200
Postage: $1,000
Translations and musical examples: $500
TOTAL: $19,320

The Journal is currently funded by the members of the American Beethoven Society and San José State University.


Young Pianist’s Beethoven Competition

Please help support the 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. Since its inception, the master teachers of the competition have included such gifted artists as Richard Goode, Malcolm Bilson, Claude Frank, Garrick Ohlsson, Christopher O'Riley, John O'Conor, Russell Sherman, Ian Hobson, and Anton Kuerti.

The contestants submit recordings of a prelude and fugue from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and a complete Beethoven sonata (up to and including Opus 90). The judges for the first stage of the competition select six finalists from the field of applicants, and these finalists perform their complete sonatas before the second team of judges, who then select the three winners who will perform for the master teacher.

As expressed by the former president of the Society, Thomas Wendel, "In an age in which young people are far less exposed to classical music than in past times, we believe that the YPB competition has ever greater relevance. Perhaps of all composers, it is Beethoven who can best shape youthful ideals of truth, beauty, and intellectual integrity, qualities that particularly define the thirty-two piano sonatas."

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.


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 form (pdf) or contact the Center's Director.

Beethoven in the Schools

During the 1990's, the"Beethoven in the Schools" project was a very popular educational program aimed at fourth- and fifth-grade students in Santa Clara County, California. The program consisted of a package of educational programs on Beethoven's life and works presented to the same classroom on a three- or four-visit basis.This program is currently unfunded. For information on how you might help reinstate this program, please contact the Director.