Beethoven Lecture Series

Join us for a free lecture series on Beethoven and the String Quartets

by Professor Paul Berry, Yale School of Music


Registration and lecture topics are below.


How Can We Listen? Form, Style, and Musical Expression

Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 3pm

at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Fellowship Hall, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme


This lecture will build on the previous two, moving from phrases to larger forms and from specific extra-musical references to general expressive trajectories. The repertoire discussed will be from the upcoming May concerts, especially Opus 18, No.4; Opus 59, No. 3; Opus 131; and Opus 132.
Reserve your FREE April 26th lecture tickets

What is a Phrase About? Classical Syntax, Biography, and Types of Musical Meaning

Lecture 2 of 3 was presented on Sunday, February 23, 2020

On February 23, 2020, Professor Berry addressed the ever-popular (both vexing and intriguing) question of Beethoven’s biography and its relationship to his music by means of detailed examinations of musical phrases in the repertoire to be performed in March, especially Opus 135; Opus 18, No.1; Opus 18, No.6.  Professor Berry also helped the audience understand how Beethoven constructed musical phrases.



Why String Quartets? Genre, Performance, and the Legacy of Haydn and Mozart

Lecture 1 of 3 was presented on Sunday, November 24, 2019

On November 24th, 2019 Professor Barry delighted over 100 Beethoven enthusiasts with an energetic, fun and humorous discussion at Essex Meadows.  He focused mainly on the precedents and contexts against which Beethoven’s contributions to the genre must be understood: the musical styles of Haydn and Mozart and their defining impact on the string quartet, the genre itself as it was constituted by those composers, and its performance contexts in the late 18th century.



About Professor Paul Berry

Yale School of Music

Professor Paul Berry, of the Yale School of Music, is a historian of Austro-German chamber music and song. In this lecture series, Professor Berry will discuss the complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets in the context of the composer’s life and times.