2024 Winter Session

Symphonic Storytelling:
A Guided Tour of
Three Romantic Masterpieces

  • Wednesdays:
    January 24
    January 31
    February 7
  • 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm 
  • Class size limit: 30 participants
  • Cost: $75.00
  • Delivered over Zoom
    Classes will be recorded; participants may request a recording if a class is missed.

Join us for a guided tour of three beloved Romantic masterpieces of “program music,” each telling a story or evoking experiences beyond the pleasure of their instrumental impact. The sessions will include not only listening to the music, but also interactive discussions about the composers, the cultural and historical context in which the pieces were written, and the stories they tell.

  • Session 1: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony depicts a peaceful summer day in the countryside. What makes this piece – and its composer – so groundbreaking?
  • Session 2: Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique depicts an elaborate tale of love, murder, and the afterlife … all without saying a word.
  • Session 3: Anyone who has ever watched the fireworks on the Boston Esplanade has heard Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture … but what are the French national anthem and Russian folksongs doing in this Fourth of July favorite?

Instructor is Elke Jahns-Harms, a professional flutist and amateur singer, holds a Master’s in Music and a PhD in International Relations. She previously taught "Music and Social Change" at the New England Conservatory, in addition to dozens of music appreciation classes for both novices and experienced musicians. She is also teaching a course in January via Zoom for the Tufts Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on Verdi's Requiem.


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Enrollment is now closed.