What We Do

The American Beethoven Society is an international organization dedicated to the creative genius of Beethoven, whose music speaks to the heart and mind of humanity.

The Society’s primary work is the creation and support of a comprehensive collection of Beethoven materials at the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, which is  housed at San Jose State University, San Jose, California. The Center is the largest research institution in the Americas devoted solely to the life, works, and accomplishments of Ludwig van Beethoven. Today the collection contains more 31,000 items, including more than 360 first editions and 3,500 early editions of Beethoven’s musical scores, some original Beethoven manuscripts, a large collection of Beethoven related books, sculpture and artwork, and sound and visual media, and Beethoven realia (including 2 locks of his hair and one of his shirts).

The Society co-publishes the internationally acclaimed Beethoven Journal,which appears two times a year and contains a wide range of articles, reviews of books, sound recordings, and videos, bibliographies of new books, and news of interest to all Beethoven lovers.

The Society also sponsors research on Beethoven, including the Beethoven Genome Project and the annual New Beethoven Research Conference, andThe Society helps support the Beethoven Gateway, an online research tool and gateway to the Beethoven Center’s digital resources.  The Society collaborates with the Center on special events, exhibits, and other activities to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in the year 2020.