Ludwig van Beethoven

One of history’s most well-known composers, Ludwig van Beethoven, was born in Bonn, Germany, although at that time Bonn was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Although his exact date of birth is unknown, it is known that he was baptised on the 17th of December, 1770. Beethoven composed music all of his life, even after becoming deaf, until his death on the 26th of March in 1827. Beethoven is regularly touted as one of the best composers of all time and was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the classical and romantic musical eras.

From an early age, Beethoven displayed an aptitude for music and was taught by his father, Johann van Beethoven during his younger years before studying under composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. He moved to Vienna when he was 21 as a result of the French Revolution and studied under Joseph Haydn. Beethoven managed to gain a reputation as a virtuoso pianist and was courted by Prince Lichnowsky for compositions, where he created his Opus 1 in 1795.

After composing Opus 1, Beethoven’s success was soon followed up with his next piece, Symphony No. 1 in 1800. The piece is well known for its frequent use of sforzandi as well as sudden shifts in tonal centres. Even though he lost his hearing, Beethoven invented a device that he could bite down on while he played in order to feel the vibrations that were created when the strings were struck, he composed a number of works using this device.

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