Fall 2013

Beethoven Hero


Jenny L. Kallick (Section 01)


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was assigned the role of “hero” early in his career, creating a sensation as a piano virtuoso upon his arrival in Vienna. Some of his greatest compositions embrace heroic struggle and triumph, as for example, in the Eroica Symphony with its initial dedication to Napoleon, or in Fidelio, an opera about the victory of freedom over tyranny. In addition, his well-known personal struggles with deafness, unrequited love, and financial insecurity helped amplify the popular notion of Beethoven Hero. This course will explore how and why Beethoven continues to embody the highest aspirations of humanity across culture and history. We will develop the practice of active listening through class discussion, frequent short writing projects, study of Beethoven biography and related documents, and conversations with visiting musicians. There will be occasional trips to attend concerts. Each member of the seminar—with or without prior musical training—will have an opportunity to perform Beethoven’s music according to individual interest, experience, and skill.

Fall semester. Professor Kallick.

If Overenrolled: Handled by Dean of New Students


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013