Jonathan Biss’s Cousera/Curtis Institute course, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, to be repeated in March 2014

Jonathan Biss

This past September, pianist and Curtis faculty member Jonathan Biss taught a five-week online course on Beethoven’s piano sonatas to 35,000 participants in partnership with Coursera, a leader in MOOC education. Due to popular demand, the course will begin a repeat run on March 13, 2014. 10,000 people are already on a waiting list, excited to take part in this reoffering of Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. Registration begins today.

The popular course was created with students from a variety of backgrounds in mind, enabling anyone with a desire to learn more about Beethoven to take the course. Biss feels quite inspired after the first run of the course as a result of the “number of people who have told me, in one way or another, that being exposed to a performer's relationship to the music he plays, with all its layers and complexities, has allowed them to hear music in a way they hadn't been able to previously."

Curtis was the first classical music conservatory to utilize a MOOC platform in partnership with Coursera and reached students in more than 135 countries with the first two courses offered on the platform.

Since 2011, Biss has been on a journey to record all of Beethoven’s 32 Sonatas. His goal is to reach completion in 2020. Biss’s third volume will be released on January 14, 2014. A few days later, on January 17, Jonathan Biss will perform a solo recital at Carnegie Hall. The program will include two pieces from the Beethoven sonata cycle, including one from his new album.

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The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading conservatories, Curtis provides its 168 students with full-tuition scholarships and personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. The school's distinctive "learn by doing" approach has produced an impressive number of notable artists since its founding in 1924. Curtis alumni hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra, and each season they are featured as guest soloists with the world's leading orchestras, opera houses and chamber music series. Curtis's innovative programs encourage students to perform often and hone 21st-century musical skills, and the school's facilities offer superb spaces for music-making as well as state-of-the-art technologies to enhance learning. Students perform internationally with Curtis On Tour in addition to more than 200 performances in and around Philadelphia each year. When they graduate, they become musical leaders, making a profound impact on music around the globe. For more information, visit

Coursera is on a mission to change the world by educating millions of people, offering classes from top universities and professors online, for free. Coursera's comprehensive education platform combines mastery-based learning principles with video lectures, interactive content and a global community of peers, offering students from around the world a unique online learning experience. Coursera has partnered with top-tier universities to provide courses across a broad range of disciplines, including medicine, literature, history, and computer science, among others. Coursera is backed by leading venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates. For more information, visit