American Beethoven Society (San Jose, CA)


  • Name:Ms. Anna Newman
  • Title:Executive Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:American Beethoven Society
  • Address:Beethoven Center, One Washington Square
    San Jose State University
    San Jose, CA 95192-0171
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:408-808-2058
  • Main fax:408-808-2060

Organization Web

User Address

  • Address:528 6th Avenue
    Menlo Park, CA 94025
    United States

User Phone

  • Direct phone:6502078709
  • Mobile phone:6502078709
  • Home phone:6502078709

User Web and Email


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  • Mission:
  • The mission of the Society is
    - to celebrate the humanitarian ideals and musical and personal achievements of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827),
    - to create and nurture the community of individuals interested in Beethoven in the U.S. and worldwide, and
    - to support the work of The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies (Center) at San Jose State University [SJSU]. The extent of the Center's collections and activities supports the case that San Jose, California is the third-most important location for Beethoven research after only Vienna, Austria, and his birthplace Bonn, Germany, and the only reference library and study center in North America devoted solely to the life and works of Beethoven.

    Information about ABS:

    ABS is governed by a Board of Trustees of public members and of SJSU officers, who operate according to IRS guidelines.

    ABS is a membership organization of individuals worldwide but primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area, who through ABS seek to advance the widespread public appreciation and lifelong learning about the inspiring life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven and his continuing influence.

    ABS raises money to fund the Center's varied programs, which include:
    - public performances and lectures in San Jose and the Bay Area,
    - curated museum-quality exhibits in the Dr. MLK Jr. Library, and subsequent posting on its website the exhibitions the Center has mounted with ABS support [such as the 'Schulz's Beethoven: Schroeder's Muse' "Peanuts" exhibit curated with the Charles Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa],
    - scholarly conventions and conferences in San Jose,
    - research resources,
    - outreach to national arts presenters,
    - The Beethoven Gateway, an online catalog and resource - the first comprehensive computer-based web-available bibliography on the composer, indexing more than 25,000 books, articles, scores, recordings and pictures,
    - co-publishing The Beethoven Journal, and
    - ongoing digitization of Beethoven first editions and artwork for web access.
    - demonstration lectures by docents at the Center for visitors and student classes of the Center's historical keyboard instruments.

    ABS raises its funds through membership fees, event admissions, donations, grants, and fundraising events.

    ABS presents outreach events that further musical education city- and region-wide, and that are open to the public, such as the annual Celia Mendez Young Pianist’s Beethoven Competition.

    The Center opened on San Jose State University campus in 1985. The Center's core staff consists of Director William Meredith and Curator Patricia Stroh, who are the founding director (1985) and curator (1986).

    The Beethoven Center is named for Ira F. Brilliant, its founder, who donated his extensive collection of 75 first editions of Beethoven’s music to the University to form the basis of a library and study center devoted to the study of Beethoven’s music and humanitarian accomplishments. The Center's current 349 Beethoven first editions [including all the string quartets and most of the piano sonatas] makes it the largest such collection in North America. Its collections also include 2,400 early editions of Beethoven’s music, over 3,600 books on Beethoven, and numerous other source materials.

    The Beethoven Center is located on the 5th floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library and is open to the public five afternoons a week. Center visitors for July 2013-June 2014 totaled XXXX, up from 5,212 for 2012-13, and from 4,710 visitors for 2011-12.

  • Overview:
  • The ABS' three main activities for the public are:
    1. Hold annual statewide Celia Mendez Young Pianist's Beethoven Competition; 2. support Beethoven Center's mounting a major annual exhibit about Beethoven at MLK Library; and
    3. Concerts, including support Year 3 of the San Jose Chamber Music Society's 3-year cycle of Beethoven's 16 String Quartets.

    These projects advance the missions of the Beethoven Society to celebrate Beethoven's ideals and achievements, to create and nurture a community of individuals interested in Beethoven, and to support the work of the Beethoven Center in MLK Library at SJSU.
    These activities are important to the City of San Jose and its residents and warrant grant support:
    a. because Beethoven is not only heroic within classical music but also inspirational to the broad culture as well;
    b. because The Beethoven Center is oldest and largest museum and library in the Western Hemisphere devoted solely to Beethoven's life and works;
    c. because The Beethoven Center is the second largest Beethoven Center in the world after the BeethovenHaus, Bonn (Beethoven's birthplace);
    d. because through ABS' and the Center's activities that are held in San Jose, taken nationally, or made available worldwide on the web, ABS and the Beethoven Center confers world-wide special stature on San Jose; and
    e. because the Center's and Society's San Jose base gives residents of and visitors to our City and region unparalleled opportunity for participation in Beethoven-related arts and cultural activities at the highest level.

    1. The annual two-day Celia Mendez Young Pianist's Beethoven Competition, held each spring since 1987, includes the master artist-teacher's public recital of Beethoven's piano music on 3/15/15; and on the 3/14/15 the morning public competition among the six juried finalists before a three-judge panel; and the afternoon master class by the guest artist coaching the three competition winners with the public and other competitors, other students, and teachers present to observe and learn. The winners also receive monetary prizes and are featured when they perform at subsequent Beethoven Center/Society events.

    2. Mount for Spring [Feb-May] 2015 public viewing in the Dr. M.L. King Jr. Library an exhibition "Beethoven's Politics, Politics' Beethoven: Revolutions, Wars, Tyrants, and Dictators." Including rare holdings displayed within the Center and in the fifth-floor Special Collections Exhibit Hall, the exhibit explores politics through Beethoven's biography and music - as well as the political uses of his music in the 20th century

    - The exhibit explores 'Beethoven's Politics': the relative importance for Beethoven of the political culture of his time, including his devotion to the ideals of the Enlightenment (freedom, equality, brotherhood) his view of the French Revolution.
    - and addresses 'Politics' Beethoven': how his music continues its appeal to people fighting tyranny and oppression, who appropriate his Ninth Symphony's 'kiss for the whole world' to help advocate freedom and brotherhood in the face of forces of division and hatred in our times.

    Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, one of the most important works ever composed, is a primary focus of the exhibit, as illuminated in Kerry Candaele's 2014 documentary film about the impact of the Ninth Symphony around the world -- in WWII, in Chilean struggles against Pinochet, in the Tienanmen Square student revolt, and in the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony" takes us on a cinematic journey across five continents and into the heart and soul of one of the world's greatest works of art. We have shown the film on at least three occasions, and producer Candaele has helped prepare this exhibit.

    The Center is devoting its spring 2015 King Library "First Wednesday" evening presentation opportunity to this Political Beethoven exhibit.

    3. On Feb. 21-22, 2015, the San Jose Chamber Music Society presents the final two concerts in its three-year Beethoven String Quartet Cycle - at nearby Le Petit Trianon Theatre. Center Director Meredith will give the pre-concert talks. The Center, which holds a first edition of each Quartet, displays those being played in year 3 - by the Auyrn Quartet from Germany whose Beethoven CDs won the German music critics Echo prize.

  • History:
  • Young Pianist's Beethoven Competition:
    One of the most important programs of the American Beethoven Society is the Young Pianist’s Beethoven Competition [YPBC], founded in 1986, by San Jose master teacher Celia Mendez, with the purpose of providing a rich artistic educational experience to help California high school students better understand and interpret Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Consistent with this pedagogical purpose, the prize of the competition is participation in a master class with a renowned artist: thus, the winners have the rare opportunity to work with the finest pianists alive today, and a unique chance to absorb as much as they can from artists of great sensitivity and experience. The day before the competition the artist/master-teacher performs a recital featuring Beethoven, open to the public and consistently well-attended, providing a perfect complement to the competition and master class, celebrating Beethoven’s musical genius. The recital has been moved to Le Petit Trianon with its ready accessibility and acclaimed acoustics. The Annual Competition takes place in the spring, still at the Concert Hall of the School of Music and Dance at San Jose State University. The next morning is the Competition among the six finalists, with the three winners receiving the honor of working with the featured recitalist-clinician in the afternoon YPBC Masterclass, which is open to the public for a fee low enough to be broadly affordable. The morning Competition is free, and the opening recital priced from very low to high [which include donation, and reception with artist]. The Young Pianist's Beethoven Competition events encourage greater understanding of Beethoven's pioneering, form-expanding, masterful sonatas for fortepiano [the early piano of his time].

    Exhibition History:
    The Beethoven Center since its founding has always exhibited objects from its collections within its quarters - which were limited in size until the King Library was built. Starting four years ago the Center has been able to mount substantial, ground-breaking exhibits about Beethoven one season long each year - because it now can also annually use the King Library 5th floor Special Collections exhibit space, and because ABS started four years ago to apply for and receive an annual arts grant from the City of San Jose to pay half the substantial cost of a major exhibit. Curating and mounting the exhibit draws on the over 25 years of Center experience and the considerable strengths of Center Director/Music Professor William Meredith and of Center Curator/SJSU Music Librarian Patricia Stroh. As needed, outside scholars are hired to advise or co-curate, and professional museum services engaged for exhibit preparation and mounting. Since ABS was founded in 1985, it has helped The Beethoven Center grow the holdings in its collection through ABS fund-raising to acquire rare and important Beethoven-related objects, music and documents. After exhibitions close, they are now migrated to the Center's website to be world-wide accessible in perpetuity. The past four years major exhibits are: Peanuts cartoonist Charles

  • Year established:1986
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:31
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:2

Board and Executive Names

  • Board Members / Trustees:
  • Trustees of the American Beethoven Society, and
    Board of Directors of The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies - as of January 29, 2015
    Ex officio Trustees, (8) San José State University

    - Gordon Haramaki, Ph.D., School of Music and Dance representative, SJSU; Board Secretary

    - Fred Cohen, Ph.D., Director, School of Music and Dance, SJSU

    - Ruth Kifer, Dean, University Library, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, SJSU

    - Mengxiong Liu, Ph.D., Engineering Librarian, Professor of Library and Information Science, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, ABS Secretary, Exec Ctte.

    -William Meredith, Ph.D., Director, The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies [since 1985], Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, also Exec. Dir./CFO of ABS, Program/Education Ctte.; Executive Ctte.

    - Andy Feinstein, Ph.D., Acting Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, SJSU

    - Patricia Stroh, M.A., M.L.I.S. Curator [since 1988], The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Program Ctte., Center Webmaster

    - Lisa Vollendorf, Ph.D., Dean, College of Humanities and the Arts, SJSU
    Public Trustees (22)

    - Charlene Archibeque, D.M.A., - Los Altos Hills CA - Choral director and editor; SJSU emerita professor (Term: 2014-2016), Chair of Development [fund-raising] Ctte.; Nominating Ctte. -

    - Thomas Bailey, Retired veterinarian, San Jose CA - (Term: 2014-2016), Membership Secretary, Membership Ctte., Exec Ctte.

    - Allen Bishop, Ph.D. Psychoanalyst- Montecito CA - (Term: 2014-2016), ABS Prog/Educ Ctte.

    - Irma Brilliant, San Mateo CA, Founder, The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies,

    - Robert Brilliant, San Mateo CA - Founders' son, Freelance commercial video producer, volunteer videographer and video compiler/editor for Ctr & ABS

    - Doris Davis, Community Volunteer, San Jose (Term: 2014-2016), Devel Ctte.

    - Rod Diridon, Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose (Term: 2012-2014), Devel Ctte.

    - James Green, Art dealer, interior designer, CD producer, Beethoven author. - Alexandria VA (Term: 2014-2016), Devel Ctte.

    - Landis Gwynn, Sr. Technical Writer, Santa Cruz CA (Term: 2014-2016), 95060, volunteer grants editing; Devel Ctte.,

    - Paul Hertelendy, Webmaster (, critic, Piedmont CA (Term: 2014-2016), Devel Ctte.

    - Peter E. Kalen, Senior Vice-President, Financial and Home Services, Sears Canada Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Term: 2014-2016), ABS Fin Ctte.

    - Victoria Kokoras, Retired educator, Peabody MA (Term: 2014-2016), , ABS Prog/Educ Ctte.

    - Thuy Le, Financial Advisor, Campbell CA (Term: 2014-2016), Devel Ctte., Fin Ctte.

    - Ted Lorraine, Artistic Director, San José Chamber Music Society; San Jose CA (Term: 2014-2016), , volunteer ABS Grants Officer, Devel Ctte., Prog. Ctte.

    - Robert Marcus, Retired Stanford M.D., Woodwind Specialist (Clarinet), Santa Fe NM (Term: 2014-2016),

    - Celia Mendez, Private music teacher and community arts volunteer, (Term: 2014-2016), YPBCompetition Ctte., YPBC Founder, Prog/Educ Ctte.

    - Henry Neiger, Former V-P, New York Chapter of the ABS Society, New York NY (Term: 2014-2016), Prog/Educ Ctte.

    - Mona Onstead, Community volunteer, San Jose CA (Term: 2014-2016), ABS Board President, ABS Executive Ctte., ABS Nominating Ctte., Devel Ctte.

    - Marilyn Sefchovich, Retired educator, Los Gatos CA (Term: 2014-2016), Devel Ctte.

    - Richard Sogg, Retired physician, Los Gatos CA (Term: 2014-2016), volunteer Beethoven Center docent/keyboard player, Prog/Educ Ctte.

    - Jan (Jeanette) Telesky tax preparation, bookkeeping, and securities, San Jose CA (Term: 2014-2016), ABS Vice-President, Nomin Ctte., Exec Ctte., Devel Ctte.

    - Stephanie C. Tramz, J.D., Clinical Trial Contract Officer, Palo Alto CA (term: 2015-2017)

    - Quan Truong, VP/Financial Advisor, Milpitas CA (Term: 2014-2016), Fin Ctte.

  • Executive Director / President:
  • Mona Onstead, President, Board of Trustees of ABS;

    William Meredith, Executive Director & CFO, of ABS

Staff Names

  • Key Staff:
  • William Meredith, Executive Director & CFO, of ABS [American Beethoven Society], since 1985.
    also since 1985, Director, The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, San Jose State University,
    and since 1985, Music Professor, School of Music and Dance, San Jose State University.

    1. Dr. Meredith, as ABS and Center Executive Director, and as YPBC co-chair of the YPBC Committee, oversees all phases of the Young Pianist's Beethoven Competition, working with the Committee co-chair Sandy Tsau-Chen??, founder Celia Mendez, and the YPBC Committee.
    Director Meredith takes care of YPBC finances.

    2. The annual ABS exhibit in- and out-side the Beethoven Center will be co-curated by Dr. Meredith, Center Director since 1985 and concurrently Professor of Music at SJSU. Dr. Meredith oversees and engages in all aspects of planning, mounting, and promoting Center exhibitions. His other Center responsibilities include negotiating contracts with speakers and artists/performers for ABS/Center events, lecturing on Beethoven throughout the U.S., and editing the Center's semi-annual Beethoven Journal.

    The co-curator of Beethoven Center exhibits --with a major role in planning, installation and operations -- is curator Patricia Stroh, M.A. & M.L.I.S., who directs curatorial operations of the Center's holdings and of the Center's exhibitions, both on-site and elsewhere. Ms. Stroh also lectures, performs on the Center's keyboard instruments, is a writer/editor for the Center's Beethoven Journal, and since 2000 is San Jose State University's School of Music and Dance Librarian.

    3. Dr. Meredith, as ABS Exective Director and Center Director, and SJSU Music Professor, takes the lead role in ABS and Center:
    - concert and recital presenting;
    - and in supporting the San Jose Chamber Music Society's 3-Year Cycle presenting Beethoven's 16 String Quartets. Professor Meredith prepares and deliver the 45-minute pre-concert talk before the two concerts of each Cycle Year.


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:77-0515534

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:770515534
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Organization Address:1 WASHINGTON SQ
  • Organization City:SAN JOSE
  • Organization State:CA
  • Organization Zip:95192-1000
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1, 2
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization, Educational Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:June, 2000
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:June, 2017
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:June
  • NTEE Code:A80
  • Asset Amount:$538,219
  • Asset Code:5 ($500,000 - $999,999)
  • Income Amount:$118,812
  • Income Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$118,812
  • Last Updated:2/20/2018 10:59:28 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.