Composers

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven
17.12.1770 - 26.03.1827
Country:Germany
Period:Classique of Vienna

Biography

Ludwig van Beethoven is a German pianist and best known as one of the most acclaimed and influential composers of all times. He was a crucial figure in the transitional Western classical music, between the Classical and Romantic eras.

Beethoven was the grandson of a famous musician of the Flemish origin, who was also named Ludwig van Beethoven (1712–1773). He was born in Bonn, probably on 16 December 1770. At the time of Beethoven’s birth, children were usually baptized the day after birth; so he was also baptized in a Roman Catholic service.

Beethoven’s father, Johann van Beethoven (1740–1792) was a piano and violin teacher. He also performed the duty of Ludwig’s first music teacher. Ludwig mother’s name was Maria Magdalena Keverich. She was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Keverich, who had been the head chief at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier.

Beethoven's first teacher was a traditional and harsh music instructor. Ludwig had other local teachers as well, for example, the court organist Van den Eeden, Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer and Franz Rovantini.

Beethoven was a talented and naturally gifted musical composer. He was very confident and performed firstly at the stage when he was just nine years old.

In Bonn, Beethoven also got education from a prominent teacher Christian Gottlob Neefe, who was appointed as the Court's Organist in 1779. Beethoven wrote his first published composition namely a set of keyboard variations (WoO 630), under the guideline of his teacher Neefe, who taught him music composition.

After that, Beethoven started working with Neefe as assistant of an organist in 1781. Beethoven’s first three piano sonatas namely "Kurfürst" ("Elector") were published in 1783. The teenage Beethoven was also strongly influenced by the ideas of prominent in freemasonry, due to his teacher Neefe and many others people, who were the members of the local chapter of the Order of the Illuminati.

Maximilian Frederick, who was the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, noticed Beethoven's talent quite early, and encouraged him for further musical studies. So, in March of 1787, Ludwig traveled to Vienna for further musical study with Mozart, but he soon came back home because of his mother illness (just after two weeks staying of his staying in the city). After the death of Beethoven’s mother, his father got lapsed deeper into alcoholism. So Beethoven took the charge of looking after his two younger brothers and spent the next five years in Bonn.

In 1789, Beethoven got a legal order by which half of his father's salary was paid directly to him for support of the family. Beethoven also contributed to his family's income by playing viola in the court orchestra.

Thus, this familiarized Beethoven with a variety of operas, including three of Mozart's operas performed at court. Ludwig van Beethoven died on 26th of March in 1827.

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Beethoven - Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Blomstedt)
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Gulda spielt Beethoven
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Complete Masterpieces (Sony)

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CD 5 - Symphony No.9 in D minor Op.125
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CD54 – Songs from The British Isles
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CD55 – Christ on the Mount of Olives Op.85
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Piano Sonatas

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