Beethoven 250 Houston 2020 - University of Houston
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Celebrating Beethoven’s 250th in Houston

Beethoven 250 Houston 2020 brings the worldwide celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig von Beethoven—one of the great figures in the history of Western art, born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany—to the city of Houston in February 2020. Two weeks of concerts and symposia on the University of Houston campus will include performances of Beethoven’s music by internationally renowned guest artists with Moores School of Music faculty and students; a three-day symposium hosted by the Texas Society for Music Theory and the Southwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society and including recent scholarship on the music of Beethoven; and appearances by six of the world’s leading Beethoven scholars for lectures, keynote addresses, workshops, and seminars.

February 17–29, 2020 on the University of Houston campus

Guest Artists

  • Formose Quartet

    The Formosa Quartet

    Formed in 2002 when the four Taiwanese-descended founders came together for a concert tour of Taiwan, the Formosa Quartet’s cultural identity has since expanded to include broader American and pan-Asian roots. Winners of both the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, the Formosa Quartet is “one of the very best quartets of their generation” (—David Soyer, Guarneri Quartet). In 2013, the Quartet founded the annual Formosa Chamber Music Festival, and the Quartet has played a leading role in actively commissioning new works for string quartet.
  • Kristóf Baráti

    Kristóf Baráti, violin

    In 2014, at the age of 35, Baráti was awarded Hungary’s highest cultural award, the Kossuth Prize, following in the footsteps of revered Hungarians András Schiff, György Ligeti and Iván Fischer. Baráti maintains an active international career, with highlights of his most recent season including engagements with the Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bern Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Hungarian National Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Baráti has appeared with conductors including Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Marek Janowski, Andrew Manze, Kurt Masur, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Recent recital appearances include Paris, Chicago, New York, and the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, among many others. Baráti plays the 1703 “Lady Harmsworth” violin made by Antonio Stradivarius, kindly offered by the Stradivarius Society of Chicago.

Guest Scholars

  • Scott Burnham

    Scott Burnham

    Scott Burnham holds a B.M. from Baldwin-Wallace College, an M.M. in Composition from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory from Brandeis University. He is an expert in the history of tonal theory, problems of analysis and criticism, and 18th- and 19th-century music and culture. His publications have appeared in journals including Beethoven Forum, Current Musicology, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of Music Theory, Musical Quarterly, Music Theory Spectrum, and 19th-Century Music. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Humanities Center. He is the author of Beethoven Hero (1995) and Mozart’s Grace (2012); editor and translator of Musical Form in the Age of Beethoven (1997); and co-editor of Beethoven and His World (2000).
  • Robert Hatten

    Robert Hatten

    Robert S. Hatten joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in Fall 2011 as Professor of Music Theory, having taught previously at Indiana University and the Pennsylvania State University. His first book, Musical Meaning in Beethoven: Markedness, Correlation, and Interpretation (1994), was co-recipient of the Wallace Berry Outstanding Publication Award from the Society for Music Theory. His second book, Interpreting Musical Gestures, Topics, and Tropes: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert (2004), helped launch the book series “Musical Meaning and Interpretation” at Indiana University Press, for which Hatten serves as general editor. His third book, A Theory of Virtual Agency for Western Art Music, was published in 2018. Hatten is President of the Society for Music Theory and is a past President of the Semiotic Society of America. He is an expert on semiotic theories of musical meaning, performance and analysis, music and the poetic text, and twentieth-century opera; and he has lectured widely across North American and Europe, including extended lecture series in Poland, Finland, Spain, and Mexico.
  • James Hepokoski

    James Hepokoski

    James Hepokoski received his M.A. and Ph.D. in musicology from Harvard University. He previously taught at Oberlin College and the University of Minnesota before spending twenty years on the faculty of the Department of Music at Yale University. Hepokoski is a former editor of the journal 19th-Century Music and is a recipient of Yale University’s Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. He is known for his work on synthesizing music history, analysis, and criticism, and his publications include “Beethoven Reception: The Symphonic Tradition,” “Back and Forth from Egmont: Beethoven, Mozart, and the Nonresolving Recapitulation,” and “Dahlhaus’s Beethoven-Rossini Stildualismus: Lingering Legacies of the Text Event Dichotomy.” His book Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations in the Late-Eighteenth-Century Sonata (2006), co-authored with Warren Darcy, won the Wallace Berry Outstanding Publication Award from the Society for Music Theory.
  • William Kinderman

    William Kinderman

    Since receiving an award for lifetime achievement from the Humboldt Foundation in 2010, musicologist and pianist William Kinderman has published two books— The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtag (2012) and Wagner's 'Parsifal' (2013)—while expanding his performance activities in new directions. Kinderman's interpretations of Beethoven's music have widely influenced the work of others, including Moisés Kaufman’s award-winning play 33 Variations, which reached Broadway in 2009 and has appeared on many other stages since. Among many publications on Beethoven, he is the author of the books Beethoven (1995, rev. 2009) and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations (1987, rev. 2008), and editor of The String Quartets of Beethoven (2006). The New York Times’ Edward Rothstein has praised Kinderman's “intellectual energy and distinctive insight”; German critic Gerd Kowa has found him “a herald of Beethoven research and interpretation . . . a sovereign artist.”
  • Michael Spitzer

    Michael Spitzer

    Michael Spitzer in an expert on Beethoven, with interests in aesthetics and critical theory, cognitive metaphor, and music and affect. Spitzer is a past President of the Society for Music Analysis and serves as chair of the Editorial Board for the journal Music Analysis. He founded the series of International Conferences on Music and Emotion, and he organized the International Conference on Analyzing Popular Music (Liverpool, 2013). Spitzer is the author of “The Significance of Recapitulation in the ‘Waldstein’ Sonata” (1996), “Convergences: Criticism, Analysis, and Beethoven Reception” (1997), “Inside Beethoven’s ‘Magic Square’: The Structural Semantics of op. 132” (1998), Music as Philosophy: Adorno and Beethoven’s Late Style (2006), and Metaphor and Musical Thought (2004).

Schedule of Events

Week 1

February 16—22
Residency: Formosa Quartet

Thursday, February 20
Concert: Formosa Quartet

Asia Society Texas Center
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004
7:30 PM

Wei-Chieh Lin, Pasibutbut (2013)*
Beethoven, Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 18 No. 6
Wei-Chieh Lin, Taiwanese Folk Songs (2017)*
*Formosa Quartet commission

Saturday, February 22
Concert: Formosa Quartet
Dudley Recital Hall
University of Houston
7:30 PM

Week 2

February 23—29
Residency: Kristóf Baráti, violin

Tuesday, February 25
Concert: University of Houston Wind Ensemble
Moores Opera House
University of Houston
Music of Beethoven
7:30 PM

Thursday, February 27
Concert: Andrew Staupe, piano
Dudley Recital Hall
University of Houston
Music of Beethoven
7:30 PM

Friday—Saturday, February 28—29
Conference: Annual meeting of the Texas Society for Music Theory and the Southwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society
Student Center South, University of Houston (map)
Lectures, panel discussions, keynote addresses
Guest scholars in residence: Scott Burnham, Robert Hatten, James Hepokoski, William Kinderman, Michael Spitzer
Schedule to be anounced in January 2020

Friday, February 28
Concert: Moores School of Music faculty chamber artists
Dudley Recital Hall
University of Houston
Music of Beethoven
7:30 PM

Saturday, February 29
Concert: Moores School Symphony Orchestra
Franz Anton Krager, conductor
Kristof Baráti, violin and conductor
Moores Opera House
University of Houston
Music of Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Symphony no. 3, "Eroica"
7:30 PM


Coming soon