Beethoven for the Rest of Us

You can purchase the full Autumn 2020 issue at

Recently we had the opportunity to contribute to a short column in the Autumn 2020 issue of Fine Books & Collections.

This year marks 250 years since Beethoven’s birth and the anniversary has propelled a surge in interest in the composer’s life and works. For beginning collectors, attempting to build their own Beethoven collections might seem a daunting task.

Many avenues for building a collection are still open however and in the column we discuss various options available to prospective collectors at a variety of price-points.

With a little research into the history of his works it is sometimes possible to find important later issues or editions offered at quite moderate prices.

For collectors interested pursuing Beethoven further, our own 2020 catalogue is an excellent resource for current items on offer: Catalogue 88 – Beethoven at 250


One of the Foremost Composers of our Time

of Striking Visual Representations of the Musical, Philosophical, and Spiritual Dimensions of the Composer’s Works

Augusta Read Thomas continues to leave an indelible mark on the landscape of contemporary American art music. A luminary of her generation, Thomas has been called “a true virtuoso composer” (The New Yorker) and “one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American music” (American Academy of Arts and Letters).

Her oeuvre defies easy categorization and stylistic boundaries, encompassing myriad sources of inspiration from mythology and religious philosophy to beatboxing and modern dance.

EOS (full description on p. 11)

My music, which is organic and, at every level, concerned with transformations and connections, should be played so that the inner life of the different rhythmic, timbral and pitch syntaxes are made explicit and are then organically allied to one another with characterized phrasing of rhythm, color, harmony, counterpoint, tempo, keeping it alive – continuously sounding spontaneous.

Augusta Read Thomas

Underpinning the careful structure of her music are layers upon layers of unseen brainstorming, planning, and sketching. For Thomas, these layers take the form of drawings, colorful maps, charts, and dynamic visual art. Behind the music itself, Thomas’ graphic sketches illustrate the depth of her creativity and illuminate her compositional process. 

The following pages present a collection of the sketches, maps, illustrations, and graphic art behind twenty-six complete musical works with additional material from her lectures, composition lessons, and musical exploration. 

All of this, hopefully, working toward the fundamental goal: to compose a work in which every musical parameter is allied in one holistic gestalt.

Augusta Read Thomas
Avian Capriccio (full description on p. 4)

Enter Exhibition | Index

Exhibition curated by Leslee V. Wood