He was born in 1770, Dec. 15 or 16 in Bonn, Germany. He was one of the most famous and influential composers of the 1800's. He was generally regarded as the "emancipator of music", because he established the vocation of composer as a dignified profession. He brought new force and flexibility to music. His creative genius inspires much of todays music. Beethoven held the job of court organist at the age of 14. His father was a drunken singer, and scarcely took care of his family. Therefore, the money young Beethoven earned helped his family. He went to Vienna in 1787, where he met Wolfgang A. Mozart, who immediately recognized his genius. He returned to his hometown however, because of his mothers illness. She died shortly after he returned, and he had to support his brothers.
Beethoven gave music lessons (which he hated doing) for a time in Bonn and played the viola in the theater orchestra. He settled in Vienna in 1792, and studied with Joseph Haydn and other masters. There, in 1795, he appeared as a pianist, and won great success. But at 28, he realized he was loosing his hearing. He soon had to give up concert work and devote his entire time to composing, while he struggled against poverty, ill health, and growing deafness. By 1819, he could only communicate by writing. During this time, he produced some of his greatest works. When he died, he had won recognition from some of the greatest minds of his time. He is buried in the famed central cemetery of Vienna near the tombs of Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Gluck, Schubert, and Hugo Wolf, all famous composers.
He wrote nine symphonies, and had started a tenth when he died. He also wrote 32 piano sonatas. These are just a few of his many works.
Much of the time, Beethoven had a hot tempered personality. He was also neglectful of himself. He spent so much time at the piano composing, he would often forget to eat. This is probably a big contribution to his illness, which caused an early death. He was against God most of his life, but it is reported he had a change of heart not long before his death. Doctors where unable to identify his illness, and even today, it is unsure what it was he suffered, since he burned most of his medical records.
A young composer went to Beethoven, looking for approval on a piece he had written. Beethoven flipped through the score, hardly seeming to glance at the pages. 'He is only being polite, and pretending to look at it', thought the young man. But then, Beethoven turned back to a page and pointed to a measure."That note doesn't go well there", he said.
So much for thinking I can sight read!
Sonata no.8, Op.13 (Pathetique) all three movements.
Sonata no.17,Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest") 1rst movement.
Sonata no.14, Op.27, No.2 ("Moonlight")
Rondo a Capriccio, Op. 129 ("Rage over a lost penny")