Beethoven: The Man, the Music, the Myth

Thomas Cimarusti

Monday, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

10/30/2017- 11/20/2017

2/5/2018- 2/26/2018

4 weeks: $150 members/$188 non-members

For many the music of Ludwig van Beethoven represents some of the finest and most sublime music in the Western tradition. What was it about Beethoven’s music that is “great” and that set it apart from his contemporaries? This lecture series will cover several of the composer’s most important works, and ones that helped redefine musical genres. We will begin with an examination of the intimate solo piano works (“Moonlight Sonata”) and the quartets (Quartet in C#-minor). We will conclude our discussion with the monumental Symphony No. 9. Our focus will be how Beethoven challenged musical conventions and consequently forged a new path in musical composition.

Sessions will consist of lecture, power point presentations, and listening/video examples. The instructor will encourage class discussion and engage attendees with various listening activities.


Paper and pencil for note taking (optional for students).

Oct 30 – Beethoven the Man; Biographical Sketch, Immortal Beloved; Beethoven’s Musical Periods; the Early Period – Piano Sonata in D minor (the “Tempest”)

Nov 6 – Beethoven and the Music; the Middle Period; the Heilegenstadt Testament; Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major (“Waldstein”); Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”)

Nov 13 – Beethoven and the Music, Part II: Symphony No. 5 in C minor; Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”)

Nov 27 – The Myth of Beethoven; Symphony No. 9 in D minor; String Quartet in C# minor; Beethoven’s death.


Dr. Thomas M. Cimarusti is an Associate Professor of Music History at Florida Gulf Coast University. He has lectured at various campuses across the country including Florida State University, Utah Valley University, and Texas Tech University. With research interests in 18th- and 19th-century music, Dr. Cimarusti has presented conference papers on Mozart, Beethoven, Italian opera, and chamber music.