Chevron Left
Back to Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas by Curtis Institute of Music

553 ratings
132 reviews

About the Course

Our relationship to Beethoven is a deep and paradoxical one. For many musicians, he represents a kind of holy grail: His music has an intensity, rigor, and profundity which keep us in its thrall, and it is perhaps unequalled in the interpretive, technical, and even spiritual challenges it poses to performers. At the same time, Beethoven’s music is casually familiar to millions of people who do not attend concerts or consider themselves musically inclined. Two hundred years after his death, he is everywhere in the culture, yet still represents its summit. This course takes an inside-out look at the 32 piano sonatas from the point of view of a performer. Each lecture will focus on one sonata and an aspect of Beethoven’s music exemplified by it. (These might include: the relationship between Beethoven the pianist and Beethoven the composer; the critical role improvisation plays in his highly structured music; his mixing of extremely refined music with rougher elements; and the often surprising ways in which the events of his life influenced his compositional process and the character of the music he was writing.) The course will feature some analysis and historical background, but its perspective is that of a player, not a musicologist. Its main aim is to explore and demystify the work of the performer, even while embracing the eternal mystery of Beethoven’s music itself. This season's Curtis courses are sponsored by Linda Richardson in loving memory of her husband, Dr. Paul Richardson. The Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation supports Curtis's lifelong learning initiatives....

Top reviews

Jun 2, 2020

This course and Mr. Biss' immense knowledge of Beethoven's sonatas and that era has given me a new interest in classical music. I can understand and speak about it more confidently than ever!

Aug 22, 2016

Fascinating trip through the marvellous Beethoven sonatas.\n\nAlthough I love them since many years, I'm very happy to see that It's always possible to progress.\n\nMany thanks Jonathan.

Filter by:

76 - 100 of 131 Reviews for Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

By Joe A

Jan 6, 2019

The lecturer lives and breaths Beethoven. Highly recommended.

By Anna N

Oct 3, 2015

Jonathan Biss is really Beethoven Geek of all Geeks. Thanks!

By Gerardo C

Sep 21, 2015

Amazing course!!! Would definitely recommend it to everyone.

By Hisham E

Oct 2, 2015


By Maico C

Nov 1, 2019

Falta Traduzir para o Português!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Marion C

Oct 16, 2016

This is a great class to understand Beethoven. Thanks.

By Steven P

Aug 12, 2017

Just fantastic. Love the info and love the playing!

By Tom M

May 3, 2017

Learned so much. Mr. Biss is an excellent teacher.

By Joe M

Nov 4, 2015

Fantastic! Thanks so much to Mr. Biss and Coursera.

By Indwen G

Mar 1, 2016

I like this course a lot so far. Thanks Mr. Biss.

By Abraham L

Sep 13, 2015

Thanks for the Wonderfull information, I love it.


Nov 3, 2015

For true Beethoven lovers and others as well

By Luis C P D l R

Aug 13, 2015

A must-take for all classical music lovers.

By Nenad R

Jan 15, 2018

Excellent lectures by excellent professor

By Tomas B

Nov 13, 2015

Wonderful course, thank you professor Biss

By Jak K

Aug 31, 2015

Perfection, both in content and execution!

By Luis L

Aug 27, 2015

A great pianist and teacher, bravo Maestro

By Cary C

May 6, 2019

Absolutely fabulous teaching about music.

By Francisco P M

Jan 9, 2017

Really interesting. Highly recommendable.

By Mario H A L

Aug 30, 2015

Excelente maestro... recomendable 100%

By Amparo R S

Aug 10, 2017

Interesantes tópicos y buen análisis.

By Richard G

Dec 1, 2019

Excellent material and instructor.

By jean j

Oct 3, 2015

fantastic course. excellent prof


Aug 17, 2015

Instructor is amazing! The best!

By Ni H

Aug 18, 2015

Very insightful and inspiring