Beyond Beethoven, 2020–1770

Cornell University
Ithaca, New York

~ We hope that you all are staying safe and well! The Fall 2020 semester at Cornell is slated to begin on Sept. 2nd with a modified academic calendar and in-person/online instruction. However the physical campus will remain closed to non-Cornell personnel – which precludes public conferences and live concert attendance – so we are in the process of redesigning programs for virtual presentation during this time. Please keep in touch for updates by joining our e-list. ~

Celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards and the Westfield Center explore keyboard culture around the edges of, in the shadows below, on the distant horizon from the monument that is “Beethoven.” To what extent is Beethoven a pole of both attraction and resistance? In a year saturated with Beethoven, how might we both think through and beyond this single composer’s contribution?

Discussion will aim to place Beethoven’s music in new historical and contemporary contexts, rethinking questions of influence and impact, production and reception. Topics might approach the theme from angles technological, media-theoretical, economic, global, addressing later 18th-century keyboard culture (Haydn, C. P. E. Bach and precursors), composers and performers in Europe’s urban centers (and rural satellites) around 1800, Beethoven’s contemporaries and students, later 19th-century disciples of Beethoven, 20th and 21st-century responses to and even rejections of Beethoven, and the global dissemination and transmission of Beethovenian sounds.

Contact the Cornell Center at cchk@cornell.edu.