Auditor Only Series

We are fortunate to have three Auditor only options this spring.


ASC 100 – Artistic Lateness and the Music of Beethoven

Professor: Scott Burnham, Professor Emeritus

Description: We will address the fabled late-style music of Beethoven, as well as discuss prominent views of artistic lateness as an aesthetic phenomenon.   The primary musical compositions we will cover include the piano sonatas Opp. 101, 106, 109, 110, and 111; the Diabelli Variations for piano, Op. 120; the Ninth Symphony and the Missa Solemnis; and the String Quartets Opp. 95, 127, 130 (including the Grosse Fuge), 131, 132, and 135.   Musical issues that arise from this repertoire notably include stylistic contrast to the point of discontinuity, genre mixing (e.g. vocal styling in instrumental music), extremes of affect, the threat of incomprehensibility, and a renewed commitment to older forms such as fugue and variation.  Visual artists and literary artists with notable late periods will also be considered in an ongoing comparison with the issues that arise in Beethoven’s late music. 

Time: 10:00-11:30 am

Dates: February 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2021

Scott Burnham is Distinguished Professor of Music at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as Scheide Professor of Music History Emeritus at Princeton University.  He is the author of Beethoven Hero (Princeton, 1995), a study of the values and reception of Beethoven’s heroic-style music, and Mozart’s Grace (Princeton, 2013), an exploration of beauty in the music of Mozart. 


ASC 200 – Romani (Gypsy) Culture in Eastern Europe

ProfessorMargaret Beissinger, Research Scholar and Lecturer, Department of Slavic Language and Literature

DescriptionRoma in Eastern Europe have been enslaved, targeted for annihilation, and persecuted for centuries.  Yet they have repeatedly adapted and adjusted to the circumstances surrounding them, persisting as distinctive cultural communities while simultaneously contributing to and forming part of the dominant worlds in which they live.  This course treats Romani culture in the countries of Eastern Europe.  It covers Romani history and identity; folklore, music, and shifting traditional roles; representations in literature and film; and verbal art by Roma.  The course offers new perspectives on ethnic minorities and the dynamics of culture in Slavic and East European society.

Time: 1:00-2:30 pm

Dates: Friday's, March 26, April 2, 9, and 16, 2021

Margaret Beissinger has a PhD in Folklore and Mythology from Harvard University. She focuses on Balkan cultures and oral tradition, oral epic, and Romani traditional culture and music-making. Much of her fieldwork has been carried out in southern Romania, where she worked extensively with Romani musicians. Her current book projects include Roma Making Music: Performing Culture in Contemporary Romania (a study of Romani musician families in southern Romanian society: culture, occupation, performance, and repertoire, based on ethnographic fieldwork) and The Oxford Handbook of Slavic and East European Folklore, a volume that she is editing.


ASC 300 – Behind the Scenes, Beyond the Script 

Professor: Debbie Bisno, Resident Producer, McCarter Theater 

Description: Join us for Creative Coffee & Conversation 

What does it mean to be an artist or a theatrical producer in the COVID moment?

Peek into the lives and careers of established and award-winning theater and industry professionals amidst the backdrop of halted Broadway shows, canceled theater seasons, shrinking budgets, live performance pivoting to a digital platform, and careers in suspension.  

The future of performance is still in limbo and all aspects of entertainment are facing great challenges – while also making new discoveries on how to create and deliver content that will have meaningful impact for a future audience.  

Bring your coffee and join a conversation about the performing arts from those on the ground in this unprecedented moment; and share your thoughts about what you hope to see and consume when "we're back." The old adage: "There are no new ideas" is no longer true in the entertainment industry!

You’ll read timely articles, and engage with a range of special guest artists and industry leaders working in stage & film (ie. actor, director, designer, playwright, composer, agent, producer, journalist.) 

Time: 11:00-12:30 pm

Dates: Friday's, March 12, 19, 26 and April 2, 2021

Debbie Bisno (Resident Producer) joined McCarter in 2016. Her experience spans Broadway, Off-Broadway, West End, regional and nonprofit theater. Broadway highlights include the 2019 revival of Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon. Other Broadway: Grace, War Horse, HAIR, Merchant of Venice, Annie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Off-Broadway and London: Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly starring Carey Mulligan, Passion Play, and Merrily We Roll Along. Debbie was Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Chicago’s Roadworks Productions with residencies at Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens theaters, producing over 20 Midwest and World Premieres by playwrights including Mike Leigh, Kenneth Lonergan, Chuck Mee, Eric Bogosian, Phyllis Nagy, and more. She’s an Advisory Member of NYC’s Playwrights Realm and on the Board of FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.) Debbie lives in Princeton with her husband David and their Portuguese Water Dog, Bernice.