Event—Adult Education

Late Romantic Masters: From Swan Lake to Der Rosenkavelier

The period from 1840 (Tchaikovsky’s birth) to World War I saw a seismic shift in the agendas and techniques of Romantic composers.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (January 9 at 10 am – January 26 at 4 pm): $250
Regular Registration Price (January 26 at 4 pm – first day of class): $275

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

Online registration is closed, but you can still register by phone. Please call (312) 255-3700 to do so.

Excuse our dust!

Beginning January 2018 the Newberry will be undertaking renovation of much of the first floor. The Adult Education Seminars Program will still have 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 Winter/Spring and Summer 2018 terms. 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 period from 1840 (Tchaikovsky’s birth) to World War I saw a seismic shift in the agendas and techniques of Romantic composers. The early Romantic generation of Chopin and Mendelssohn used modest means—piano solos, lieder, and intimate chamber music—as a platform for introspective, often quirky, personal expression. Their successors employed far grander means—opera, ballet, large-scale symphonic works—for more public, even political expression. Whether obsessed with imperial, nationalistic, or purely philosophical themes, these composers—Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Strauss, Mahler, Bruckner, and others—were as revolutionary as any who came before them. Eight sessions.

John Gibbons teaches piano, composition, music theory, and a variety of music appreciation classes for adults. He holds a PhD in music composition from the University of Chicago and is a long-time instructor at the University of Chicago Graham School.

Materials List


  • There are no required materials for this class.

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first class.

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