Musically Speaking: Beethoven’s Ninth

Featuring Jessica A. Holmes, PhD

Gain insight on Beethoven’s life and music with our talks.  

Please note that this talk is in English only.

Did you know that Beethoven began going deaf in his twenties, eventually becoming completely deaf? It seems a cruel twist of fate that a young man, already famous as a musical prodigy, would suffer such a loss. The genius Beethoven could still listen to the music in his mind and went on to compose some of his most famous symphonies, like the Ninth, which he never got to hear.  

What exactly was going on in Beethoven’s brilliant mind? Can you listen without hearing? Jessica Holmes will give a talk in which she sheds light on this subject matter. The postdoctoral Scholar of Musicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music completed her Doctorate of Philosophy in Musicology at McGill University where her thesis was titled “Music, Disability and Embodiment in Contemporary Performance”.   She approaches listening through the musical experiences of deaf people, revealing multi-sensory ways of listening beyond hearing while detailing the precarious social, physical, and musical contours of “normal” hearing.