A bust of Beethoven

The Heroic Beethoven and the Birth of Musical Romanticism


This course was available in the past and may be presented again as part of the Open Enrollment curriculum.

Beethoven's middle period works (the heroic Beethoven) comprise the single most influential repertory in the history of Western music. The "Eroica" symphony, the mighty Fifth, the "Emperor" piano concerto and other works permanently established the model of artist as hero, artist as liberator, artist as sacrifice. The Romanticism of Schumann, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Mahler, and the contemporary image of musical genius is unthinkable without Beethoven's achievement. This course contextualizes these great works and assesses their impact on the course of music history.

Course Outline

Itinerary for the 1-Day Symposium (all times are Central Time):

10 -10:45 am The "Eroica" symphony and its predecessors
10:45 am - 12:00 pm "C Minor Moods" featuring the Fifth symphony, inter alia
12:00 -12:45 pm The "Razumovsky" quartets
12:45 - 1:30 pm Lunch, on your own
1:30 - 2:00 pm "Fidelio"
2:00 - 3:45 pm The Sublime Pastoral, featuring the 6th symphony, and The Sublime Dionysian, featuring the 7th symphony
3:45-4:30 pm The Ninth symphony


Online registration deadline: Thursday, Sept 22 at 5 pm CT.

Taking an In Person Course: At Graham health and safety is our highest priority. As we resume on-site programming, we want to share COVID-19 requirements for attending.

In-person programming must adhere to University of Chicago guidelines, including the following measures:

  • All in-person participants must show proof of fully vaccinated status, defined as two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
  • It is strongly recommended that all in-person participants receive the COVID-19 booster shot(s).

For more information on Education Guidance including vaccine requirements and masking requirements, please visit goforward.uchicago.edu/education-planning/.

For more information on measures the university is taking to help protect public health, please visit goforward.uchicago.edu.