The Beethoven-Archiv was founded in 1927 as research center on Beethoven and his compositions, his intellectual and cultural background, and the history of his influence. It collects the scattered records in original form or as photographic reproductions, pursues extensive research and edition projects and also provides advice on external projects.
While the collection and preservation of sources surrounding Beethoven's life and works is laid down in the constitutions, the goals of the scholarly activities are not. This means that the institute is able to respond more flexibly to questions and issues arising in Beethoven research and also to seize new initiatives. With the publication series concerning Beethoven research (mongraphs) and Beethoven studies (essays) it has created forums which can also be accessed by external scholars.
The Beethoven-Archiv organizes various academic functions (conferences, lectures and exhibitions) as the occasion arises and participates in external undertakings. To a limited extent it also acts in an advisory capacity to external scholars and invites communication.
The Beethoven-Archiv actively promotes young musicologists and musicians during practical trainings as well as by accompanying them during their residencies in students' colleges or other trainee agendas.
Complete edition of Beethoven's works
The aim is to provide a scholarly-critical text which reflects Beethoven's intentions as closely as possible and which also takes into account aspects of musical practice. Sources, their states, variants and other differences are described in Critical Commentaries which accompany each volume fo music.
It should comprise 56 volumes, of which about two thirds have already been published. They will encompass all of Beethoven's completed compositions, including the early versions and authentic arrangements; in addition the larger fragments and more extensive sketches.
Complete edition of Beethoven's correspondence and selected edition of documents
Lean more on the edition of correspondence
Learn more on the edition of documents
Selected edition of Beethoven's sketches
Learn more about sketch editions
Genetic textual criticism and digital edition
In collaboration with the university of Detmold/Paderborn, the Beethoven-Haus has launched a new project in 2014: "Beethoven's workshop: Genetic textual criticism and digital edition" focuses on basic research in musicology. It is sponsored by the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz and will run for 16 years.
The project shall serve as an interdisciplinary contribution to creativity research and to cognitive science with the following aims:
- Methodical analysis, encoding and visualisation of composing processes
- Exemplary digital sketchbook edition
- Model edition of the Diabelli variations op. 120
Besides its running philological and biographical research the Beethoven-Archiv research center also is concerned with relevant questions, e. g. in the reception of Beethoven.
Scholars from all over the world are invited to conduct research on Beethoven, his oeuvre, contexts and reception at the Beethoven-Haus. Usually, visiting scholars stay for some months. Funding by a third party is required.
In line with the basic principle of the foundation course the Beethoven Archive staff helps students to find a suitable topic for a scholarly paper or thesis, gives advice and encourages individual research. Young musicologists who are already working on a research topic concerning Beethoven have the opportunity to meet experts and exchange ideas.
Programmes: 2018; 2017; 2016; 2015; 2013; 2012; 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007