The Wolf Lecture

About the Lecturer 

Dr. Theodore Albrecht has been a professor of Musicology at Kent State University since 1992. Born in Jamestown, New York in 1945, he moved with his family to Texas, studied with George Yaeger, associate conductor of the San Antonio Symphony, and received his bachelor’s degree in music education from St. Mary’s University in 1967.  He received his master’s (1969) and doctoral (1975) degrees from the University of North Texas, after studying musicology with Dika Newlin and conducting with Anshel Brusilow.
Known internationally as an authority on Beethoven, Albrecht has written more than forty articles about the composer. His three-volume Letters to Beethoven and Other Correspondence (1996) won the prestigious ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 1997.  

Lecture Description 

The composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is often seen scowling at us from portraits that reflect his increasing deafness, and many of us have learned his powerful Fifth Symphony as an act of rage and defiance against his debilitating handicap.

We shall take a more practical, a more realistic view as Beethoven composed his works for Vienna's professional orchestras and orchestral musicians through the terrifyingly uncertain phases of the Napoleonic wars, including his teacher Haydn's Mass in Time of War with threatening drum rolls in the distance (1796), the revolutionary Eroica Symphony inspired by the dashed Enlightenment of Bonaparte (1804), with the Fifth Symphony and the Choral Fantasy, placing his hopes into words ("Night and storms become Light") in 1808. When Napoleon suffered several defeats after his invasion of Russia in 1812, Beethoven organized an orchestra of over 100 musicians to perform his Wellington's Victory, a battle piece that made him the musical star of the international Congress of Vienna (1814-1815).  All of his philosophical, emotional, and orchestral-technical powers came together in 1824 in the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, proclaiming to the world, "All Mankind will be Brothers"!

But in all of this greatness, Beethoven never forgot the individual orchestral musician playing the tiny piccolo.

About the Wolf Lecture

The John and Eleanor Mincks Wolf Lecture in Music Education and English was established with gifts in 1999 and 2009 to honor the memory of John '47 and Eleanor (Mincks) Wolf. Mr. Wolf was a teacher of Music for thirty years in the Strongsville schools. Mrs. Wolf was a teacher of English and Latin and Richfield and Highland school districts. Distributions from the endowed fund are used to bring professionals in the disciplines of Music Education or English to campus.


Past Wolf Lecturers


Ray McNiece


Brian Bedford, actor


Jim Daniels, Sandra Maria Estevez and Elizabeth Hawkins, poets


Tony Buba, filmmaker and Jim Daniels, screen writer


Becky Bradway, author


Joyce Dyer, author


Marilyn Nelson, poet laureate


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, acclaimed novelist and poet


Julie Otsuka, author


Dr. Cynthia Taggart, professor of music education


Dr. Michael Olin-Hitt, author and professor of English


Samantha Basford Damoulakis and Russell Hall


Virtuoso jazz trombonist Bob Ferrel and special guest vocal stylist Helen Welch


Rowan Ricardo Phillips - poet and author


Dr. Theodore Albrecht - professor of Musicology at Kent State University 

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