Ludwig van Beethoven Biography

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in the year 1770 on 17th December at Bonn. The origin of his family was in Belgium. His father was a musician. This played a great role in Beethoven developing an interest in music at the time he was very young. His father took the responsibility of teaching him music most of the time he was at home.

Beethoven proved to be very much gifted in music. At the age of seven, he made his public performance at Cologne. However, the ability to teach music of his father was not adequate. Soon thereafter he was able to learn music and most particularly the organ. He also learned about famous musicians like Gottlob Neefe. Neefe recognized the talent in Beethoven and thus took the initiative of teaching him music enabling him to be aware of both ancient and modern philosophers.

In the year 1782, Beethoven made the publication of his first work and in the year that followed his teacher, Neefe wrote in the “Music Magazine” about him giving out a message that if Beethoven went on like that he would become the new “Mozart”.

At the age of 14, in June 1784 Beethoven was appointed to become the court of Maximillian Franz’s organist after Neefe’s recommendation. While in this position, he was able to frequently explore fresh circles other than the usual ones (of his father and the family friends). In the course of this, he encountered people who would remain to be his friends for the remaining part of his life.

Back at home, Beethoven gradually made the replacement of his father. In the first place, he made the replacement in terms of finances because his father was not very much capable of playing his part at the court because most of the time he was under the influence of alcohol. Young as he was, he felt responsible for his young brothers and he remained with this idea for the rest of his life.

In 1787, Beethoven was sent to Vienna by Prince Maximilian Franz to go and meet Mozart and also to advance his education in music. He was later called back home at the time his mother was dying. The mother died in the year 1787 in the month of July. He went back to Vienna five years there after to pursue once again his education in music after getting sponsorship from Prince Elector.

While in Vienna, he took lessons with Haydn. He composed his opus 1 in the year 1794. The year that followed he made his initial performance at Vienna where every musician was to perform his own work. While in Vienna he made several friends. Each and every person in the musical world as well as in the aristocratic world had a great admiration for this coming up young musician.

In the year 1800, Ludwig Beethoven arranged a fresh concert at Vienna that included his initial symphony. Even if in the current days this piece of art is believed to be classical and almost the same as that of Haydn together with that of Mozart, in those days, people found the work to be strange, and excessively extravagant. Young as he was, he was already extending the boundaries of music that had been established.

Ludwig Beethoven made a confession to his friends in Bonn that he was becoming deaf. This did not discourage him from being an active musician. Being aware that his handicap was worsening with each coming day, he concentrated on his greatest works that were; exceptional sonatas for piano, and the Eroica (the second and third symphonies), among others (Prévot, 2001).

He carried out the writing of his third symphony in honor of Bonaparte, a great man. This was seen as the people’s liberator, opening the door to hope of the French Revolution. When there was the self-declaration of the First Consul as Emperor, Beethoven turned out to be infuriated and scowled out the name of Bonaparte from the score. Then on the 7th of April the year 1805, there was the playing of the Eroica symphony for the first time.

In the meantime, Beethoven had eventually completed his opera, Leonore. This was the only opera that he ever wrote. He wrote again and again four different overtures. As a result, there was the changing of the name opera to Fidelio and this was against the wishes of the one who composed it. The date for the opening performance was on 20th of November the year 1805 which was carried out before a small audience of French officers. This was for the reason that the head of the army, Napoleon, had carried out the capturing of Vienna for the first time and this occurred again in the year 1809. Within the period that came after this, the creative efforts of the composer turned out to be great. He carried out the composition of several symphonies which included the Coriolan Overture, the Pastoral, and the renowned Letter for Elise.

Beethoven had intentions to leave Vienna in the year 1809 upon Jerome Bonaparte’s invitation. He was kept at Vienna by his friend, Countess Anna Marie Erdody with his richest admirers’ assistance. Among these wealthiest admirers included Prince Kinsky, Archbishop Rudolph, and Prince Lobkowitz. These people offered Beethoven a yearly grant of four thousand florins and this enabled him to live without the financial hardships. The condition, and which was the only one, was that he does not leave Vienna and he agreed to this. Due to this grand, Beethoven turned out to be the first independent composer.

Later, one of Beethoven’s benefactors, Prince Lobkowitz, was caught in financial problems, and also prince Kinski died following his falling from a horse. The descendants of Kinski decided to terminate the financial obligations towards Beethoven. This was the starting point of one of the many attempts carried out by the composer to save to realize financial independence.

Beethoven’s late works were greatly admired which were performed between the year 1816 and the year 1826 at the time he stopped composing. These works were admired for their great personal expression and deep intelligence. These works were the ninth symphony, the last six string quartets, the last five pianos, and the Missa Solemnis. Beethoven never married. He died in the year 1827. He had had constant poor health towards the end of his life. His death is believed to have come about as a result of liver disease (Anonymous, Ludwig Van Beethoven Biography, not dated).

The funeral rights were carried out at the church of the Holy Trinity. The number of the people who attended this funeral was estimated to range from between 10, 000 people to 30,000 people. A nervous and huge admirer of Beethoven without ever having turned out to be a close friend to Beethoven, Franz Schubert, was among those who carried the coffin along with other musicians. He also died the year that followed and his grave was put up next to that of Beethoven (Prévot, 2001).


Anonymous. “Ludwig Van Beethoven Biography.”, 2009. Web. 

Prévot, Dominique. 2001. “Ludwig Van Beethoven Biography.” Ludwig van Beethoven’s website. 

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