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.


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

Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 3pm

at Essex Meadows, Hamilton Hall, 30 Bokum Road, Essex


This lecture will focus 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.

Reserve your FREE November 24th lecture tickets

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

Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 3pm

at Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme

This lecture will address 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 will also help the audience understand how Beethoven constructed musical phrases. 
Reserve your FREE February 23rd lecture tickets

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

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.