Program Music of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries | Newberry

Program Music of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Led by Stephanie Ettelson. 8 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Tuesdays, May 29 - July 24 (class will not meet on July 17)

2 - 4 pm

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (April 17 at 10 am – May 4 at 4 pm): $265
Regular Registration Price (May 4 at 4 pm – first day of class): $291.5

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Register Online

Excuse our dust!

The Newberry is undergoing an extensive first floor renovation in 2018. This project will be ongoing during the Summer 2018 seminar term. The Adult Education Seminars Program still has use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Summer 2018 term. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

The symphonic repertoire goes beyond absolute music, where only the notes have intrinsic meaning. It includes many compositions with stories to tell, scenes to portray, or even dreams to evoke. What they all have in common is a programmatic theme beyond the music, whether it’s something specific or only a mood. This added dimension is a useful lens for studying masterpieces in this category by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Liszt, R. Strauss, Mussorgsky, Debussy, Schoenberg, Ives, and Stravinsky. Eight sessions.

Major selections for listening will include: (Additional illustrations will be used to augment the material as time permits.)

Beethoven (1770-1827): “Lenore” Overture No. 3 (1805) and Overture to Fidelio (1814)
Mendelssohn (1809-1847): Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1826); Overture, The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave – 1832), Op. 26
Berlioz ((1803-1869): Symphonie fantastique (1830)
Liszt (1811-1886): Les Préludes (1854)
R. Strauss (1864-1949): Til Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28 (1895)
Tchaikovsky (1840-1893): Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36 (1875); Overture-Fantasy to Romeo and Juliet (1869)
Mussorgsky (1839-1881): Pictures at an Exhibition (1874 piano original by composer / 1922 Ravel orchestration)
Debussy (1862-1918): La Mer: Three Symphonic Sketches (1905)
Schoenberg (1874-1951): Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op. 4 (1899)
Ives (1874-1954): A Symphony: Holidays (1897-1913)
Stravinsky (1881-1975): Rite of Spring (1913)

Stephanie Ettelson, well-known for her preconcert lectures and classes on symphonic and chamber music for more than four decades, brings a unique perspective to the art of listening as an orchestral and chamber music violinist, arts writer, and music educator.

Materials List


  • There are no required materials for this class.

Recommended resources:

  • Music paperback dictionary: Randel, The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music OR Apel & Daniel, The Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music.

First Reading:

  • For the first class, please listen to Beethoven’s “Lenore” Overture No. 3 and Overture to “Fidelio”

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.