Is classical music a dying art? If so, can it be revitalized? How come there hasn't been a classical composer in recent decades whose music appeals to a wide audience, as did Mozart's and Beethoven's music? Are there aspects of contemporary society preventing great accomplishment in music composition, or more generally in the arts? The Next Beethoven explores these questions in a story about a fictional young composer with great potential.
David Green is a millennial virtuoso pianist and composer, who aspires to become a great composer. He also has the more ambitious goal of starting a Second Renaissance, and organizes a group of like-minded New York City artists who want to restore art to its European glory days. Clinical psychologist Bill Leornig is David's girlfriend's faculty advisor at NYU. As the Second Renaissance group unravels, and David becomes depressed, Leornig must decide whether to help David. The book includes the novel and four short stories.