The complete name is Ludwig Van Beethoven, he is one of the greatest masters of music, particularly admired for his instrumental works, including symphonies, concert, sonata and chamber music. He was born in Bonn, Germany about Dec. 16, 1770. His father and his grandfather also a musician. Beethoven very talent so that at the age of 12 he was already an assistant to the organist Christian Gottlob Neefe, with whom he studied.
In 1787, Beethoven was sent to Vienna, but his mother was ill, and he had to return to Bonn almost immediately. His mother died a few moth later. Ludwig left Bonn for Vienna a second time in November 1972, in order to study with Franz Josef Haydn. He remained there the rest of his life, leaving only for long summer holidays in surrounding countryside and, in his early year, for occasional concerts in nearby cities. His only extended journey was to Prague, Dresden and Berlin in 1796.
Beethoven never held an official position in Vienna. He supported himself by giving concerts, by teaching piano, and increasingly through the sale of his compositions. Member of the Viennese aristocracy were his steady patrons.
The last 30 years of Beethoven’s life were shaped by a series of personal crises, the first of which was the onset of deafness. The early symptoms, noticeable to the composer before 1800, affected him socially more than musically. His reaction – despair, resignation and defiance – are conveyed in letter to two friends in 1801 and in a document – half letter and half will – addressed to his brothers in late 1802 and now known as the “Heiligenstadt testament.” Resolving finally to “seize fate by the throat,” he emerge from the crisis with a series of triumphant works that mark the beginning of a new period in his stylistic development.
During this time, Beethoven’s deafness advanced to the stage where he could no longer perform publicly, and he required a slate or little notebooks (conversation book) to communicate with visitors. The dead of his brother Caspar Carl in 1815 led to a 5-years legal struggle for custody of Caspar’s son Karl, then 9 years old, in whom Beethoven saw a last chance for the domestic life that had otherwise eluded him. His possessiveness of Karl provoked final crisis in the summer of 1826, when the young man attempted suicide. Beethoven’s health began to fail, and he died on March 26, 1827 in Vienna.
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