Beethoven and His Heroic Period: 1802-1812

Register for this Fall 2022 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website.


Precious few composers have shaken the world of classical music as Beethoven did in his Middle or Heroic period of the early 1800s. He absorbed the conventions of Haydn and Mozart and deconstructed them, creating his own brand of symphony, sonata, string quartet, and concert overture. His Viennese audience thought him mad. This shocking music was longer, louder, more emotional, and harmonically more complex than what had come before. But to sophisticated listeners, these masterpieces went up and beyond mere tones to portray human themes such as struggle or celebration. While his creative fires burned brightly, Beethoven the man was challenged by his impending deafness, his personal health, and loneliness. We will survey great works such as Symphonies Nos. 3 and 5, Piano Concertos Nos. 4 and 5 “Emperor," the Razumovsky String Quartets, the “Moonlight,” “Waldstein,” and “Appassionata” piano sonatas, Fidelio, and more. All music has a story and we will place each work in an engaging historical perspective. Lectures will be augmented by musical examples and video performances. No musical knowledge is necessary to enjoy this class. Questions? Contact us at The Center for Applied Liberal Arts (CALA). Email or call 212-998-7289. Fall 2022 tuition is $769.


More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with Beethoven’s works during his Heroic period of the early 1800s
  • An understanding of the groundbreaking nature of Beethoven’s music

Ideal for

  • Music enthusiasts
  • All members of the community––working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.