Past Exhibitions

Beethoven: The Late Great

February 8, 2014 - May 18, 2014

In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and its 21st and final season of Dean Corey’s leadership, the Philharmonic Society will present a multi-season celebration of the major late works of Ludwig van Beethoven, including a celebratory exhibition at the Bowers Museum. This exhibition of rare Beethoven artifacts has been curated by Dr. William Meredith, Director of the Beethoven Center, San José State University, including a personal letter and drafts of personal scores in Beethoven’s own handwriting from the Library of Congress never exhibited on the West Coast.

Beethoven: The Late Great exhibition features five handwritten manuscripts from the Library of Congress and the Beethoven Center, the life mask of 1812, two locks of the composer’s hair from 1827, and his household account leaf, probably from the summer of 1823, illustrating aspects of Beethoven’s daily life as recorded by his housekeeper. Props from the film Copying Beethoven will be on display, paired with film screenings, as well as Beethoven documentaries to take place in the Norma Kershaw Auditorium. Beethoven’s late works, which the Society has presented in concert over the past three seasons, will be represented by scores and first editions. Special highlights will be original manuscript sources of the String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130, and the Hammerklavier Sonata.

Beethoven: The Late Great Project The Philharmonic Society of Orange County’s multi-season Beethoven: The Late Great project is a musical exploration into the final transcendence of one of the greatest composers of all time. Over the past few seasons, the Society has presented all of Beethoven’s late works. This season, the culmination of the Beethoven: The Late Great celebration will feature community-wide events showcasing Beethoven and his inspirational genius, with film screenings, art installations, the publication of Dean Corey’s book Beethoven: The Late Great, 33 Personal Variations, a finale concert featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and more. The Beethoven: The Late Great project is generously sponsored by The Segerstrom Foundation.


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