Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

October 6, 2005

Edmund Morris to Discuss His New Biography of Beethoven on Oct. 25

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris will discuss his new book, "Beethoven: The Universal Composer," at the Library of Congress at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

A book signing will follow the presentation, which is part of the Center for the Book’s Books & Beyond author series. The Library’s Music Division is co-sponsoring the event. The program is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Morris, a classically trained pianist, has studied Beethoven and his music for 40 years. "Of all the great composers, Beethoven is the most enduring in his appeal to dilettantes and intellectuals alike," Morris writes. "What draws them is Beethoven’s universality, his ability to embrace the whole range of human emotion, from dread of death to love of life—and the metaphysics beyond—reconciling all doubts and conflicts in a catharsis of sound."

Publishers Weekly called "Beethoven: The Universal Composer" an ideal biography for the general reader. Kirkus Reviews said the book is "an astute introduction to the life of music’s most Promethean composer, an embattled storm, a human cymbal clash."

A renowned biographer, Morris previously wrote "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" (1980), "Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan" (1999) and "Theodore Rex" (2001), a sequel to "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt." All have been national best sellers. "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" won the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award in 1980.

Morris is a longtime friend of the Library of Congress. In 1983 Morris presented a talk on "The Art of Biography" at the Center for the Book’s symposium "Biography & Books." In 2000 he contributed an introduction, "One Writer’s Library," to James Conaway’s "America’s Library: The Story of the Library of Congress 1800-2000," the Library’s bicentennial history.

The Center for the Book, established in 1977 as a public-private partnership, uses the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books, reading and libraries. For information about its events and activities, visit: www.loc.gov/cfbook.

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PR 05-214
10/06/05
ISSN 0731-3527

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