William Kinderman is professor of music and the Leo M. Klein and Elaine Krown Klein Chair in Performance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. His many books include Beethoven, The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtag, and, most recently, Wagner's Parsifal.
With a keen ear attuned to both musical and historical salience, Kinderman reveals the animating presence of the political in almost every aspect of Beethoven's life, his work, and his legacy. In doing so, he illuminates the crucial context from which to assess Beethoven's astonishing achievement of a moral ideal that has resounded from the Age of Revolution to our own times. --Scott Burnham, City University of New York Kinderman has written a fresh and fascinating book packed with intriguing thoughts and unexpected alignments about how Beethoven's politics translated themselves into Beethoven's music. This is a book that awakens the reader not only with its content, but with the love and enthusiasm of its author. --Patrick Summers, artistic and music director, Houston Grand Opera This book is a timely contribution to the current trend towards interpreting art primarily in political terms. Placing his aesthetic commentary in a well-grounded biographical and historical context, Kinderman illuminates the political aspects of Beethoven's life and outlook. He goes on to discuss the ways in which a number of Beethoven's important works reflect the composer's lifelong belief in freedom and progress as both personal and universal values. --Lewis Lockwood, author of 'Beethoven: The Music and the Life'