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Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
— Ludwig van Beethoven
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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.







The Ira F. Brilliant Beethoven Center featured in an episode of Anything Interesting.

OUR PARTNER, THE IRA F. BRILLIANT BEETHOVEN CENTER is an extensive library and museum devoted solely to the life, works, and accomplishments of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Established in 1983 when Ira F. Brilliant donated his Beethoven collection to San José State University, the Center officially opened in September 1985 with a gala co-sponsored by the San Jose Symphony. Building on Ira Brilliant’s original donation, the Center now has the largest collection of Beethoven materials outside of Europe. In addition to functioning as a research library and museum, the Center is involved in a variety of educational programs and sponsors concerts, lectures, tours, and other events. Long-term projects include publication of The Beethoven Journal and development of the Center’s online catalog, the Beethoven Gateway. The Center is also the headquarters for the American Beethoven Society.

ABS also supports the Beethoven Gateway, a system of online databases developed by the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies designed to help in the discovery of resources on the composer Ludwig van Beethoven.