The Behind-the-Scenes Assist That Made Beethoven’s Ninth Happen

New York Times By the time Beethoven completed his Ninth Symphony, he hadn’t presented any major new work in a decade. He was by that point almost completely deaf, and many thought him crazy. The Viennese had become obsessed with Italian opera, and the 53-year-old...

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Beethoven

New York Times In the past, we’ve asked some of our favorite artists to choose the five minutes or so they would play to make their friends fall in love classical music, the piano, opera, the cello, Mozart, 21st-century composers, the violin, Baroque...

Music Man

Air Mail With his nasty temper and squalid lifestyle, Beethoven was not an easy genius. Writing from the perspective of his lover, an author explores the appeal I swore off difficult men after writing Robert Mapplethorpe’s biography. When my book was published 25...

The Woman Who Built Beethoven’s Pianos

New York Times Nannette Streicher has been marginalized by history, but she was one of Europe’s finest keyboard manufacturers. The Morgan Library & Museum owns part of an original sketch of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Piano Sonata. In the margin, the British...

Special Project: Rediscovering the “Moonlight” Sonata

American Classical Orchestra In Celebration of Beethoven’s 250th Birthday We asked two friends of ACO—pianist Petra Somlai and author Patricia Morrisroe —to collaborate on a video performance-and-writing project around Beethoven’s Sonata No. 14 in C# minor, better...

The Black Violinist Who Inspired Beethoven

New York Times Six months after Beethoven contemplated suicide, confessing his despair over his increasing deafness in the 1802 document known as the Heiligenstadt Testament, he was carousing in taverns with a charismatic new comrade, George Polgreen Bridgetower. This...

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