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How new research is unlocking secrets about Beethoven's life

Michael Ruhling on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.
David Griffin
Michael Ruhling on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

Why are still so obsessed with Beethoven? The New York Times reports that a new analysis of Beethoven's hair – yes, his actual hair – has solved some mysteries, while opening new questions about the late composer's life. And yet some of the hair purportedly belonging to Beethoven, clipped from his head after his death, turned out to be from a woman!

Our guests discuss the search for answers about one of the most mercurial figures in music and art history. Our guests:

  • Julia Figueras, music director and midday host for WXXI’s Classical 91.5 FM
  • Michael Ruhling*, senior associate faculty in musicology at the Eastman School of Music, and professor of performing arts at RIT
  • Theodore Albrecht, professor emeritus of musicology at Kent State University, and award-winning authority on Beethoven and his works

*To read more about the Beethoven Symphony Basics project at the Eastman School of Music, click here.

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.