A free Education & Community Enrichment program:
Lecture: On the Heroic in Beethoven’s Fidelio
Scheide Professor Emeritus of Music
Tuesday June 13 at 7 pm
Princeton Public Library
65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton
free and open to the public
Beethoven is perhaps best known for the “heroic style” of his symphonies, especially as realized in the Third Symphony (Eroica), the Fifth Symphony, and the Ninth Symphony. This talk will explore modes of heroism in Fidelio, by focusing on the actions of Leonore and Florestan, on the dramatic structure of the opera, and on the symphonic aspect of much of the music. We will also consider the relation of Beethoven’s opera to the Western tradition of heroic epic.
Professor Burnham, Scheide Professor Emeritus of Music History, taught in the Music Department of Princeton University from 1989 to 2016 and served as department chair from 2000 to 2008. In 2013, Burnham was awarded Princeton University’s Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities. He has also been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Humanities Center. In addition to his widely-acclaimed book Beethoven Hero and his more recent work Mozart’s Grace, which explores aspects of beauty in Mozart’s music, he has also published essays about humor in Haydn, memory in Schubert and manic drama in Schumann.