Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Commencement Address

Ludwig van Beethoven, Commencement Address, Salzburg A & M, May 22, 1825

I am honored to be with you today, although it might have occurred to someone at A & M to front me the money for the trip from Vienna.  Generally speaking, I don’t do freebies, which is the first and best piece of advice I can give you.  And for heaven’s sake, don’t fall for that line the fat cats so love, “Ooh, Herr Beethoven, you’re so lucky to be doing what you love.  I’ll bet you’d do it for free!”  Bad bet, Kimosabe.   Does anyone ever use that line on his barber? Do you expect free stuff from your wig maker, your gardener, from the cable guy?  No.  Point in fact: you’re worth whatever you say you’re worth. Anyway, I’m thrilled to be here.  Personally, I never graduated from college.  I never even went to college.  It wasn’t an option when I was growing up, although I have done extensive course work at the school of hard knocks.   You don’t actually graduate from that school; you just survive and move on.  So this is the closest I’ve ever come to a real college graduation. Today I’m going to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it: just three […]

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