Ad Code

Ludwig Van Beethoven 1770-1827

He was baptized on December 17th 1770 at Bonn. His family originated from Brabant, in Belgium. His father was a musician at the court of Bonn, with a definite weakness for alcohol. Without a doubt, the child was gifted and his father Johann envisioned creating a new Mozart, a child prodigy. In June 1784, on Neefe’s recommendations Ludwig Van Beethoven was appointed organist of the court of Maximillian Franz, the Elector of Cologne. Beethoven was 14 years old. At Vienna, the young musician took lessons with Haydyn, then with Albrechtsberger and Salieri. 

He captured the attention of, and astonished Vienna with his virtuosity and his improvisations on piano. Beethoven made numerous acquaintances at Vienna. Everybody in the musical and aristocratic world admired the young composer. These music-lovers were Beethoven’s greatest supporters. In 1801 Beethoven confessed to his friends at Bonn that he was afraid he was slowly going deaf. 

At Heiligenstadt in 1802 he wrote a famous text expressing his disgust at the unfairness of life: that he, a musician, could become deaf was something he did not want to live through. However, music made him carry on and he wrote that he knew that he still had many other musical domains to explore, discover, and to pass on. In the years that followed, the creative activity of the composer became intense. He composed many symphonies, amongst which were the Pastoral, the Coriolan Overture, and the famous Letter for Elise. He took on many students that he found young and attractive, and he therefore fell in love with several of them. The Archbishop, Rudolph, brother of the emperor, also became his student, his friend, and eventually one of his benefactors. In 1809, Beethoven wanted to leave Vienna, at the invitation of Jerome Bonaparte. His long-standing friend, the Countess Anna Marie Erdody, kept him at Vienna with the help of his wealthiest admirers: the Archbishop Rudolph, the Prince Lobkowitz, and the Prince Kinsky. These men gave Beethoven and annual grant of 4,000 florins, allowing him to live without financial constraint. The only condition was that Beethoven was not to leave Vienna. Beethoven accepted. This grant made him the world's first independent composer. Before this contract musicians and composers alike (even Bach, Mozart, and Haydn), became servants in the houses of wealthy aristocratic families. May 7th 1824 was the date of the first playing of the ninth symphony and despite the musical difficulties, and problems in the sung parts, it was a success. Unfortunately it was not financially rewarding. In 1826, Beethoven caught a cold coming back from his brother’s place, He passed away surrounded by his closest friends on March 26th 1827. The funeral rites took place at the church of the Holy Trinity. It is estimated that between 10,000 and 30,000 people attended.   

1st Symphony

1st Symphony
2nd Symphony
3rd Symphony -
4th Symphony
5th Symphony | 6th Symphony -
7th Symphony
8th Symphony -
3rd and final version of Fidelio
9th Symphony -

Ad Code