Academic journal article The Beethoven Newsletter


Academic journal article The Beethoven Newsletter


Article excerpt

WE REGRETFULLY ANNOUNCE the retirement of Gail Fullerton as president of San Jose State University.

From 1978 until September 30, 1991, President Fullerton served the University with integrity, courage, and unmatched commitment. The University and the Center owe her a debt of profound gratitude.

Simply put, the Beethoven Center would not have been born were it not for her deep support, imaginary vision, and great enthusiasm. When Arlene Okerlund (then Dean of the School of Humanities and the Arts) enthusiastically carried Ira Brilliant's offer to the President in 1983, she immediately grasped the potential for an American Beethoven center in the heart of Silicon Valley. From that birth in 1983 until last September, President Fullerton devoted precious time from her hectic schedule for the Center on many occasions. As a faithful member of our Executive Committee, she attended every meeting and as many concerts as possible, provided financial support for critical projects, and most importantly kept our eyes on things of permanent importance, all with her own inimitable quiet, effective style. Her remarkable personal commitment to our work should never be underestimated.

Institutions such as universities and academic centers are built and shaped from the blended visions of many individuals. In our case, Ira Brilliant's homage to Beethoven (as represented in one of the most remarkable private collections of Beethoven's first editions in the world) was fused with Arlene Okerlund's excitement and fervor and Gail Fullerton's support and commitment. Without Gail's support, however, our work could not have begun in 1983. We miss her laugh, her love for the arts, and her stabilizing presence, and send every good wish her way.

WE ARE QUITE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE that the publication of this issue of the newsletter was made possible from donations from four members of the Executive Committee of the Center - Ira Brilliant, James Compton, Academic Vice-President Arlene Okerlund, and Dr. Thomas Wendel - and from the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco. We would like to thank these board members and Jens Lütkenherm, Consul for Legal and Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General, for their support.

These gifts resulted from a fundraising campaign devoted to finding one or more sponsors (foundations, individuals, corporations) to underwrite the newsletter's annual production costs of $15,000 (for graphic design, printing, postage, assistant editor salary, and other costs). Any help our members, or other interested readers, could give us would be most appreciated.

THREE NEW TREASURES HAVE recently become part of our growing collection.

The most significant of these is a manuscript, partially written in Beethoven's hand, of four pages of his household account books. The manuscript bears the dates July 12 and 13, and August 8 and 9, and comes from somewhere in the mid-1820s. The manuscript was acquired by Ira Brilliant from the English antiquarian dealer Richard Macnutt and is on loan to the Center. Although a more substantial report must wait for a future issue, we can report that the document is a fascinating record of Beethoven's personal life, recording the purchase of food (rolls, beef, liver, rice, dumplings, marrow, sorrel, cinnamon, mustard), drink (red and white wine, rum), and other miscellaneous items (chicken feed, broom, candles, the franking of letters on July 13 and August 9). Two of the pages are reproduced on appendix page 88 (left two pages in the photograph) in Paul Bekker's Beethoven (Berlin & Leipzig: Schuster & Loeffler, 1911); the other two are unpublished.

Three other treasures have been acquired for the Center with funds from American Beethoven Society memberships. We are tremendously grateful to each one of our members for their support which allows us to acquire such items.

The first is the very rare first biography of Beethoven published by Joseph Aloys Schlosser in Prague in 1828. …

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