Beethoven's Eroica Symphony | Newberry

Beethoven's Eroica Symphony

Led by Brian Oberlander, PhD
Saturday, March 5, 2022
One session. Saturday, March 5



Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet both virtually and in the building for the Winter/Spring term. Although we are still primarily virtual, you will find a smaller selection of in-person seminars in the schedule. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to Registration opens Wednesday, January 19th at 9am (Central time). Registration will take place through our online platform, Learning Stream.

Register via Learning Stream here

Seminar Description

Gain fresh insights into Beethoven’s monumental Third Symphony by exploring its biographical, historical, and aesthetic context. From the deeply personal Heiligenstadt Testament, penned in the face of increasing deafness and social isolation, to the symphony’s original dedication to Napoleon Bonaparte—bitterly withdrawn before its public premiere—the Eroica reveals Beethoven at a personal and musical crossroads. Drawing on 19th-century reviews, contemporary music research, and iconic audio recordings by the likes of Karajan and Solti, we conclude the seminar by discussing Beethoven’s ambiguous conception of heroism—and his epoch-making reconceptualization of music itself—in this harbinger of the Romantic symphony..

One session. Registration – $85/$76.5

Brian Oberlander holds a PhD in musicology from Northwestern University. He has taught courses in music history at Northwestern, National Louis University, Columbia College Chicago, and the Newberry.

Materials List


  • Instructor-Distributed Materials.

First Reading:

  • Please listen to the audio recordings of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major and view the 2003 BBC film circulated by email in the week prior to our seminar.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, January 19th . Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning January 12th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: The Newberry uses Learning Stream for all Adult Education Seminar registrations. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.