Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, with a musical bloodline. Though the actual date of his birth was never recorded, he was baptized on 17th December 1770. Since it was customary in Bonn to baptize children within 24 hours of their birth, through a consensus,16th December was taken as Beethoven’s birthday.
Beethoven didn’t just happen upon music as his career path. His grandfather was a distinguished musician in Bonn, whose popularity rose quickly after his debut at the age of 21. Beethoven’s father continued the musical legacy by picking up the violin and keyboard, later pushing the young Beethoven to learn the instruments from a young age. Beethoven’s father was known less for his music and more for his alcoholism; however, he made sure that his son learned how to play and understand music, sometimes using harsh methods.
Beethoven stuck to his musical roots and became one of the greatest composers and pianists of all time. To understand Beethoven’s legacy and musical output, we can divide his career into three sections: Early, Heroic, and Late. His Early career lasted up to the year 1802. In these years, Beethoven was learning and perfecting his talent He had his first public concert at the age of 7 and continued to grow from there. In 1792, he moved to Vienna and started closely studying the style of Mozart, another musical giant. Soon, he was taken under the wing of Joseph Haydn, which led him to learn how to compose.
Following that, Beethoven now entered the Heroic phase of his career. Despite his musical gifts and patronage, Beethoven could not avoid a hardship that directly affected his musical abilities; he was going deaf. It was during this time that the musician first started experiencing his deafness. To work around his impaired hearing, Beethoven started to develop his original style and learned how to compose while losing his sense of hearing. This period lasted till 1812.
By 1814, Beethoven had lost almost all of his hearing. He also went through turmoil with his family and health, which caused his output to drop drastically. During his final years, the composer spent a considerable amount of time composing three pieces of music: Missa Solemnis, the Ninth Symphony, and the Diabelli Variations. He died on 26th March 1827, naming his nephew Karl his sole heir.
Beethoven’s most notable works include Fur Elise, Fifth Symphony, and his sole opera Fidelio.
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