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Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies and Museum

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1 Washington Square San Jose, CA 95192
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Phone: 408-808-2058
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Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies and Museum
Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies and Museum in San Jose
The Center for Beethoven Studies finds its home on the campus of San Jose State University. If you are an aficionado of classical music, especially that of the great German composer, then this museum is a definite "must see." Included in the collection are early editions of his music, memorabilia, and original manuscripts.

A real estate developer in Phoenix, Arizona named Ira F. Brilliant donated his extensive collection of 75 first editions of Beethoven's music to San Jose State University to form the basis of a library and study center devoted to Beethoven's music and humanitarian accomplishments. In May 1983 Ira and Irma Brilliant met with Dean Arlene Okerlund to discuss Ira's proposal to donate his rich collection to the University. Dean Okerlund and music librarian Barbara Jeskalian flew to Phoenix to inspect the collection in person, and after hearing their report, President Gail Fullerton gave her blessing to the new enterprise. A press conference on November 16, 1983 announced the creation of the first center in North America devoted solely to Beethoven. The University appointed a professor from the History Department, Tom Wendel, to serve as the acting director until a permanent director could be found because of his many ties and contacts with San Jose's arts community. An executive board was formed for the 1983-84 academic year, and the board met to plan the Center's activities and hire its founding director. After a two-year search, the University offered William Meredith, newly graduated PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the position, and the Center opened to the public in September 1985. A few months later, curator Patricia (Elliott) Stroh joined the staff.

The Center is the only institution in North America 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 Josť 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.

The Beethoven Center welcomes visitors and researchers and offers a variety of services for those interested in Beethoven who cannot travel to San Josť.
1 Washington Square San Jose, CA 95192
Phone: 408-808-2058
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