"These volumes present approximately 430 letters and documents written to Beethoven (1770–1827) as well as those written by others (relatives students and secretaries) on his behalf. Along with over 70 of Beethoven’s own letters discovered since Emily Anderson’s three-volume Letters of Beethoven these documents provide new insights into the composer’s personal life. They illuminate his dealings with publishers other musicians poets patrons relatives friends and a wide variety of acquaintances.
Born in Jamestown, New York, in 1945, Theodore Albrecht grew up in San Antonio, Texas. After studying oboe with Charles Veasey and conducting with George Yaeger (both of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra), he received his bachelor's degree in music education from St. Mary's University there in 1967. Albrecht's graduate studies at North Texas State University included conducting under Anshel Brusilow, as well as musicology under Dika Newlin, Helen Hewitt and Michael Collins, and led to a Ph.D. in musicology in 1975. Meanwhile, he spent 1970-1972 in the U.S. Army, living in Frankfurt, Germany, and attending performances in Vienna, Rome, Munich and Bayreuth. He has also participated in post-doctoral seminars at Harvard University, Indiana University and Yale University, as well as the Herbert Blomstedt Conducting Institute.
Today, Albrecht is perhaps best known as a Beethoven specialist. His three-volume Letters to Beethoven (a collection of over 500 documents, dozens never before available in any language) was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1996. In the BBC Music Magazine (May, 1997), Barry Cooper hailed it as "the largest and most important collection of Beethoven source materials to be published in English for many years." Albrecht's Beethoven Research Guide (an annotated bibliography of roughly 5,000 articles and books about the composer) was published in 2001.