- Ludwig van Beethoven; was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most acclaimed and influential composers of all time.
- Beethoven’s earliest music instructions were the piano lessons his father started to give him when he was four or five years old.
- He wrote five piano concertos and one violin concerto. He composed one ‘triple’ concerto for piano, violin and cello and he started to write, but never completed an oboe concerto. Beethoven wrote nine symphonies.
- Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music; occasionally he is referred to as one of the "three Bs" (along with Bach and Brahms) who epitomize that tradition.
- Born in Bonn, of the Electorate of Cologne and a part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in present-day Germany, he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist.
- Around 1796, Beethoven began to lose his hearing. What started as an annoying ringing in his ears worsened until he was almost totally deaf by 1816.
- His only opera is Fidelio.
- In 1787, Neefe arranged for his seventeen-year-old protégé to visit Vienna where he played for and possibly took a few lessons with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- Beethoven was also a pivotal figure in the transition from 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism, and his influence on subsequent generations of composers was profound.
- His hearing began to deteriorate in the late 1790s, yet he continued to compose, conduct, and perform, even after becoming completely deaf.
- There are over 200 films which quote this father of modern music’s iconic compositions, discounting broadcast and filmed concerts.
- Unlike Mozart, who was buried in a common grave (as was the custom at the time), 20,000 Viennese citizens lined the streets at Beethoven’s funeral on 29 March 1827. The funeral procession was one of the most impressive Vienna had.
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