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John Gibbons holds a Ph.D. in music composition from the University of Chicago. He teaches music appreciation classes at the Universality of Chicago’s Graham School and at Newberry Library. He also offers private piano lessons in the Chicago area.

Bonnie Gibbons is a web site developer and SEO with a background in classical music. She might be persuaded to teach a few cello lessons in the Chicago area.

Celebrating Beethoven's "Greatest Concert Ever"

I turn regularly to Huffington Post for liberal-leaning political blogging along with a small dash of pop culture. But occasionally the homepage features a special treat: somebody writing about classical music as if it belonged on a mainstream site like HuffPo!

Greg Mitchell of Editor and Publisher, and the author of a book on Iraq and the Media, celebrates the Vienna concert given by a 38-year-old Beethoven two hundred years ago today.

Fellow geezers: Forget the Beatles at Shea Stadium, Dylan in Manchester, the Stones at Altamont, Springsteen at the Bottom Line (I was even there) — and you youngsters pick your fave from the past three decades. On December 22, 1808, Beethoven himself rented a hall in Vienna and promoted the concert to end all concerts: the debut, over four hours, of three of the greatest works in the history of music: his Fifth Symphony, the Sixth (“Pastoral”) Symphony, and the astounding Piano Concerto No. 4, plus the wonderful Choral Fantasia (forerunner to his Ninth Symphony). And yes, it was a fiasco.

But imagine: It was as if Orson Welles premiered Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, and Touch of Evil on the same night — with The Lady from Shanghai thrown in for good measure.

This was mid-period Beethoven. He was 38 at the time and would live another 19 fitful years.

My Desert Island Musical Passages

Why "The Little Drummer Boy" Is So Annoying