Panel Discussions

Complementing the musical programs, we’re presenting a series of in-depth panel discussions in which leading scholars will be invited to explore topics related to “Why Beethoven?” 6 lectures will be presented each season: 3 in Santa Barbara and 3 in the Los Angeles area. Participating scholars include Jan Swafford, author of the acclaimed Beethoven biography, “Anguish and Triumph” and Derek Katz, musicologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Andrea Moore, Professor of Music at Smith College and co-founder of the “Musicology and the Present” conference series and Richard O’Neill, principal Violist for Camerata Pacifica.

These panel discussions are presented in collaboration with Santa Barbara City College’s School of Extended Learning and Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Tickets will be available from the venues directly.

January 24, 2019 | Pasadena Conservatory of Music
January 25, 2019 | Santa Barbara City College

A product of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution, Beethoven reached maturity as man and artist while the Napoleonic wars ravaged Europe. Invaded repeatedly by the French, Vienna was ultimately to suffer from within under repressive police rule. These regimes and epic, destabilizing conflicts created the modern world. How did they impact Beethoven’s view of society, his sense of self and his music? Today his music is so iconic it has lost much of its impact, but just how radical was it in his time, and how has his music influenced the composition and reception of that which followed?

February 28, 2019 | Pasadena Conservatory of Music

March 1, 2019 | Santa Barbara City College

Composers favored certain keys for certain moods, most famously the driving and demonic C minor for Beethoven. Why is this the case, and why his rare and special use of, for instance, C# minor? How does the use of keys within movements help define their nature? When we come to Beethoven’s late music, why are quartets so hallowed and, indeed, just how forward looking are they? “By the late years, an uncanny duality develops: On the one hand, the sense that Beethoven might do anything harmonically, that he would venture to the far ends of the musical earth; on the other, always there, rock-solid, the triads, the tonic and the dominant, the familiar landmarks of classical harmony.” –Jeremy Denk

April 4, 2019 | Pasadena Conservatory of Music

April 5, 2019 | Santa Barbara City College

Grounded in the objectively classical world of Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven flourished in the era of Goethe and Kant, emerging as the archetypal genius for Romantics, who declared the artist to be a world-shaking demigod and hero. Was this deification the first step in a stultification of the concert experience, resulting in the imperious reverence of the concert hall and the rigid canonization of the 18th and 19th century masters? 250 years after his birth is part of Beethoven’s legacy a constriction of the concert experience that makes it harder for a contemporary audience to enjoy the music of today?

Jan Swafford’s “Anguish and Triumph” is the Beethoven biography recommended as the companion to our Beethoven Project.

“Impassioned and informed…Swafford’s exuberance is infectious, prompting the reader to revisit works both famous and obscure.” –The New Yorker

Purchase the book from Chaucer’s Bookstore in Santa Barbara (805) 682-6787 — an independent, arts-supporting bookstore — or through Camerata Pacifica. In both cases, all proceeds will benefit Camerata Pacifica.