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An introduction to the life and history of beethoven

December 16, baptized: December 17, - Bonn, Germany Died: A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven moved to Vienna in his early 20s, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist.

His hearing began to deteriorate in his late twenties, yet he continued to compose, conduct, and perform, even after becoming completely deaf.

Biography Background and early life Beethoven was the grandson of a musician of Flemish origin named Lodewijk van Beethoven Ludwig is the German cognate of Dutch Lodewijk who was employed as a bass singer at the court of the Elector of Cologne, rising to become Kapellmeister music director.

Lodewijk had one son, Johann van Beethoven —who worked as a tenor in the same musical establishment, also giving lessons on piano and violin to supplement his income. Johann married Maria Magdalena Keverich in ; she was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Keverich, who had been the head chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier. Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn. There is no authentic record of the date of his birth; however, the registry of his baptism, in a Roman Catholic service at the Parish of St.

Regius on December 17,survives. As children of that era were traditionally baptised the day after birth in the Catholic Rhine country, and it is known that Beethoven's family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger celebrated his birthday on 16 December, most scholars accept December 16, as Beethoven's date of birth.

Of the seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born, and two younger brothers survived infancy. Beethoven's first music teacher was his father.

Although tradition has it that Johann van Beethoven was a harsh instructor, and that the child Beethoven, "made to stand at the keyboard, was often in tears," the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians claimed that no solid documentation supported this, and asserted that "speculation and myth-making have both been productive.

Beethoven's musical talent was obvious at a young age. Johann, aware of Leopold Mozart's successes in this area with son Wolfgang and daughter Nannerlattempted to exploit his son as a child prodigy, claiming that Beethoven was six he was seven on the posters for Beethoven's first public performance in March Some time afterBeethoven began his studies with his most important teacher in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe, who was appointed the Court's Organist in that year.

Neefe taught Beethoven composition, and by March had helped him write his first published composition: Beethoven soon began working with Neefe as assistant organist, at first unpaidand then as a paid employee of the court chapel conducted by the Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi. Maximilian Frederick noticed Beethoven's talent early, and subsidised and encouraged the young man's musical studies. Echoing changes made in Vienna by his brother Joseph, he introduced reforms based on Enlightenment philosophy, with increased support for education and the arts.

The teenage Beethoven was almost certainly influenced by these changes. He may also have been influenced at this time by ideas prominent in freemasonry, as Neefe and others around Beethoven were members of the local chapter of the Order of the Illuminati.

In March Beethoven traveled to Vienna possibly at another's expense for the first time, apparently in the hope of studying with Mozart.

The details of their relationship are uncertain, including whether or not they actually met. After just two weeks Beethoven learned that his mother was severely ill, and returned home. His mother died shortly thereafter, and the father lapsed deeper into alcoholism.

As a result, Beethoven became responsible for the care of his two younger brothers, and he spent the an introduction to the life and history of beethoven five years in Bonn. Beethoven was introduced to several people who became important in his life in these years. Franz Wegeler, a young medical student, introduced him to the von Breuning family one of whose daughters Wegeler eventually married.

Beethoven often visited the von Breuning household, where he taught piano to some of the children. Here he encountered German and classical literature.

The von Breuning family environment was less stressful than his own, which was increasingly dominated by his father's decline. Beethoven also came to the attention of Count Ferdinand von Waldstein, who became a lifelong friend and financial supporter. In Beethoven obtained a legal order by which half of his father's salary was paid an introduction to the life and history of beethoven to him for support of the family.

He also contributed further to the family's income by playing viola in the court orchestra. This familiarised Beethoven with a variety of operas, including three by Mozart that were performed at court in this period. He also befriended Anton Reicha, a flautist and violinist of about his own age who was a nephew of the court orchestra's conductor, Josef Reicha. Establishing his career in Vienna Beethoven was probably first introduced to Joseph Haydn in latewhen the latter was traveling to London and stopped in Bonn around Christmas time.

They met in Bonn on Haydn's return trip from London to Vienna in Julyand it is likely that arrangements were made at that time for Beethoven to study with the old master. With the Elector's help, Beethoven moved to Vienna in From toBeethoven composed a significant number of works none were published at the time, and most are now listed as works without opus that demonstrated his growing range and maturity. Musicologists identified a theme similar to those of his third symphony in a set of variations written in Beethoven left Bonn for Vienna in Novemberamid rumors of war spilling out of France, and learned shortly after his arrival that his father had died.

Count Waldstein in his farewell note to Beethoven wrote: Beethoven did not immediately set out to establish himself as a composer, but rather devoted himself to study and performance.

Working under Haydn's direction, he sought to master counterpoint. He also studied violin under Ignaz Schuppanzigh. Early in this period, he also began receiving occasional instruction from Antonio Salieri, primarily in Italian vocal composition style; this relationship persisted until at leastand possibly With Haydn's departure for England inBeethoven was expected by the Elector to return home.

He chose instead to remain in Vienna, continuing his instruction in counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger and other teachers. Although his stipend from the Elector expired, a number of Viennese noblemen had already recognised his ability and offered him financial sup, among them Prince Joseph Franz Lobkowitz, Prince Karl Lichnowsky, and Baron Gottfried van Swieten.

ByBeethoven established a reputation as an improviser in the salons of the nobility, often playing the preludes and fugues of J. His friend Nikolaus Simrock had begun publishing his compositions; the first are believed to be a set of variations WoO Byhe had established a reputation in Vienna as a piano virtuoso, but he apparently withheld works from publication so that their publication in would have greater impact.

Beethoven's first public performance in Vienna was in Marcha concert in which he first performed one of his piano concertos. It is uncertain whether this was the First or Second. Documentary evidence is unclear, and both concertos were in a similar state of near-completion neither was completed or published for several years.

Shortly after this performance, he arranged for the publication of the first of his compositions to which he assigned an opus number, the three piano trios, Opus 1.

These works were dedicated to his patron Prince Lichnowsky, and were a financial success; Beethoven's profits were nearly sufficient to cover his living expenses for a year. Musical maturity Beethoven composed his first six string quartets Op. They were published in With premieres of his First and Second Symphonies in andBeethoven became regarded as one of the most important of a generation of young composers following Haydn and Mozart.

For the premiere of his First Symphony, Beethoven hired the Burgtheater on April 2,and staged an extensive program of music, including works by Haydn and Mozart, as well as his Septet, the First Symphony, and one of his piano concertos the latter three works all then unpublished. The concert, which the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung described as "the most interesting concert in a long time," was not without difficulties; among the criticisms was that "the players did not bother to pay any attention to the soloist.

For example, Beethoven's quintet for piano and winds is said to bear a strong resemblance to Mozart's work for the same configuration, albeit with his own distinctive touches. But Beethoven's melodies, musical development, use of modulation and texture, and characterization of emotion all set him apart from his influences, and heightened the impact some of his early works made when they were first published.

By the end of Beethoven and his music were already much in demand from patrons and publishers. During this time, Beethoven fell in love with the younger daughter Josephine who has therefore been identified as one of the more likely candidates for the addressee of his letter to the "Immortal Beloved" in Shortly after these lessons, Josephine was married to Count Josef Deym.

Beethoven was a regular visitor at their house, continuing to teach Josephine, and playing at parties and concerts. Her marriage an introduction to the life and history of beethoven by all accounts happy despite initial financial problemsand the couple had four children.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Her relationship with Beethoven intensified after Deym died suddenly in Beethoven had few other students. From tohe tutored Ferdinand Ries, who went on to become a composer and later wrote Beethoven remembered, a book about their encounters. The young Carl Czerny studied with Beethoven from to Carl Czerny went on to become a renowned music teacher himself, instructing Franz Lisztand gave the Vienna premiere of Beethoven's fifth piano concerto the "Emperor" in Beethoven's compositions between and were dominated by two large-scale orchestral works, although he continued to produce other important works such as the piano sonata Sonata quasi una fantasia known as the "Moonlight Sonata".

In the spring of he completed The Creatures of Prometheus, a ballet. The work received numerous performances in andand Beethoven rushed to publish a piano arrangement an introduction to the life and history of beethoven capitalise on its early popularity.

In the spring of he completed the Second Symphony, intended for performance at a concert that was canceled. The symphony received its premiere instead at a subscription concert in April at the Theater an der Wien, where Beethoven had been appointed composer in residence. Reviews were mixed, but the concert was a financial success; Beethoven was able to charge three times the cost of a typical concert ticket.

Beethoven's business dealings with publishers also began to improve in when his brother Carl, who had previously assisted him casually, began to assume a larger role in the management of his affairs.

In addition to negotiating higher prices for recently composed works, Carl also began selling some of Beethoven's earlier unpublished works, and encouraged Beethoven against the latter's preference to also make arrangements and transcriptions of his more popular works for other instrument combinations.

Beethoven acceded to these requests, as he could not prevent publishers from hiring others to do similar arrangements of his works. Loss of hearing Aroundby the age of 26, Beethoven began to lose his hearing. He suffered from a severe form of tinnitus, a "ringing" in his ears that made it hard for him to hear music; he also avoided conversation. The cause of Beethoven's deafness is unknown, but it has variously been attributed to typhus, auto-immune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosusand even his habit of immersing his head in cold water to stay awake.

The explanation from Beethoven's autopsy was that he had a "distended inner ear," which developed lesions over time. As early asBeethoven wrote to friends describing his symptoms and the difficulties they caused in both professional and social settings although it is likely some of his close friends were already aware of the problems.

Beethoven, on the advice of his doctor, lived in the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna, from April to October in an attempt to come to terms with his condition. There he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter to his brothers which records his thoughts of suicide due to his growing deafness and records his resolution to continue living for and through his art.

Over time, his hearing loss became profound: Beethoven's hearing loss did not prevent his composing music, but it made playing at concerts - a lucrative source of income—increasingly difficult. After a failed attempt in to perform his own An introduction to the life and history of beethoven Concerto No.

A large collection of Beethoven's hearing aids, such as a special ear horn, can be viewed at the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany. Despite his obvious distress, Carl Czerny remarked that Beethoven could still hear speech and music normally until