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Ludwig van beethoven
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Ludwig van beethoven

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  • Ludwig was the child of Johann and Maria van Beethoven. Johann would often come in late and in a drunken state, would wake Ludwig with physical abuse and insist that he practice his clavier. Johann’s goal was to make Ludwig a child prodigy such as Mozart had been. Ludwig’s mother and grandmother tried to offset Johann’s rage by showing Ludwig sympathy and affection. Beethoven considered his mother his “best friend.”
  • With his fathers desire to make him a child prodigy like Mozart, Johann had his son appear in Cologne. There he announced that his son was on 6 years old instead of 71/2, in order to make people think that he was younger than he actually was.
  • Johann begins teaching Ludwig the clavier somewhere around the age of 5. Standing on a footstool in order to reach the Ludwig practiced for hours in order to please his. However, if his hesitated or made mistakes between notes, it was reported that his father would beat him. At age of 6 his father arranged for Ludwig’s first public recital. In order to concentrate on his music more Ludwig decided to drop out of school at the age of 10. He stated, “Music comes to me more readily than words”. It was at this time that he began to study under Neefe, who was the newly appointed court organist.
  • Neefe writes an article in theMagazine of Music about his student, “If he continues like this, he will be, without a doubt, the new Mozart.” At age 14 Neefe recommends that Beethoven become the new organist for the cout of Maximillian Franz, the Elector of Cologne. Here he made new friends who would remain so for the rest of his life: the Ries family, the Von Breuning family, Karl Amenda, the violinist and Franz Gerhard Wegeler, doctor. Around this time Beethoven also begins to take over financial responsibility for his family along of the responsibility of tending to his two younger brothers.
  • With the death of Mozart in 1791, Joseph Haydn was now considered the greatest composer alive. Beethoven deciding to dedicate his life to music decided to move to Vienna in order to learn from the best. There, Beethoven studied piano under Haydn, vocal composition under Salieri, and counterpoint under Albrechtsberger.
  • Not yet known as a composer, Beethoven’s reputation was that of a virtuoso pianist. However, he made is debut in Vienna in 1795 where he played what is known as his “first” piano concerto in C Major. Afterwards he decided to publish 3 piano trios known as Opus 1. In 1800 he debuted his Symphony 1 at the Royal Imperial Theater in Vienna(this piece he later grew to hate, stating that he did not know how to compose at that time). The Creatures of Prometheus became a popular ballet that received 27 performances at the Imperial Court Theater.
  • In 1809 Beethoven wanted to leave Vienna, however, Archbishop Rudolph, Prince Lobkowitz, and Prince Kinsky decided to give him an annual grant of 4,000 florins, allowing him to have financial freedom. The only condition was that he could not leave Vienna. He accepted. Therefor he became the first independent composer, unlike his earlier counterparts who became servants of wealthy aristocratic families.
  • Beethoven admired and identified with Napoleon a man who appeared to have superhuman capabilities. Once Napoleon named himself Emperor, Beethoven debuted his Symphony No. 3 in his honor. Later it was renamed to Eroica Symphony. I was unlike anything that had ever been heard before, that the musicians could not figure out how to play it after weeks of practice.
  • Upon dealing with his increasing lose of hearing, Beethoven writes a memoir, know as The Heiligenstadt Testament. In it held this portion, “O you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you and I would have ended my life—it was only my art that held me back. Ah it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me.”
  • His only opera “Fidelio”, was said to be superlatively complex, astonishing, and beautiful. The most famous of the symphonies that he composed during this time was No. 3-8, the “Moonlight Sonata” . The violin sonata was called “Kreutzer”. All of these were complete while he was progressing towards total deafness.
  • Beethoven begin to show a bazzare string of emotions. He was said to be lonely , short tempered, absent-minded, greedy, suspicious to the point of paranoia. He began to become indifferent to all of those around him. He was to have attempted to break a chair over his closest friend and loyal patron Prince Lichnowsky. Beethoven never married or fathered any children. He was said to be secretly in love with a married woman named Antonie Brentano. He wrote her a long love letter, but never sent it. With the death of is brother Caspar in1815, he began a legal battle with his sister-in-law in order to gain custody of his nephew. The battle went on for over seven years, until he finally won custody. However, even though he had won the custody battle, he was never able to show affection to the boy.
  • It was stated that in 1826 after returning from his brother house that Beethoven caught a cold. Combined with his other health issues, he never recovered. The initial autopsy of Beethoven concluded that he did form post-hepatic cirrhosis of the liver. This autopsy also provided insight into the cause of his deafness, it was thought to be linked to him contracting typhus in 1796. His funeral service was held at the church of Holy Trinity where an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 attendees paid their respects. He was laid to rest at Wahring cemetery, which is now known as Schubert Park. Recently scientists were able to analyze remaining fragments of his skull and found high levels of lead and considered he may have died from lead poisoning, however, this theory is inconclusive.


  • 1. In The Beginning Born in Bonn Germany; baptized Dec 17,1770 Lived an impoverished life as a young child Father was abusive Father desired to make child star of him Loved his mother
  • 2. Beethoven’s First Public Appearance  March 26, 1778  At age 7 ½  Public Performance at Cologne
  • 3. Ludwig’s Music Training Begins Johann begin teaching clavier & violin Ludwig drops out of school to study music full time Receives professional instruction from Christian Gottlob Neefe
  • 4. Early Teen Years Neefe’s article regarding Beethoven Appointed as court organist Becomes responsible for family
  • 5. Beethoven’s New Dedication1792 moves to Vienna to study with the best:Franz Joseph Haydn Antonio Salieri Johann Albrechtsberger
  • 6. Beethoven’s Debut First Debut in Vienna March 29,1795 Published “Opus 1” Symphony No. 1, April 2, 1800 “Six Strings Quartets” – 1801 “The Creatures of Prometheus - 1801
  • 7. First Independent Composer  Archbishop Rudolph  Prince Lobkowitz  Prince Kinsky  All three admirers agree to give grant
  • 8. Beethoven and Napoleon Napoleon names himself emperor Beethoven dedicates Symphony No. 3 Symphony No. 3 renamed Eroica Symphony
  • 9. Beethoven’s Physical Struggle Around 1799 begins to loose hearing The Heiligenstadt Testament
  • 10. Miraculous Compositions Compositions from 1803-1812  An opera  Four solo concerti  Five sets of piano variations  Four overtures  Four trios  Two sextets  72 songs
  • 11. Composition Definitions Opera - a dramatic work in one or more acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists Concerti- musical composition for a solo instrument or instruments accompanied by an orchestra Overture- instrumental composition intended especially as an introduction to an extended work, such as an opera or oratorio Sextet- composition for six voices or six instruments Trio –composition for three voices or instruments
  • 12. Beethoven and His Emotions Became lonely Short tempered Absent-minded Never married In love with married woman
  • 13. Compositions Near the End Missa Solemnis – a mass that debuted in 1824 String Quartet No. 14- contains seven linked movements played without a break Ninth Symphony – final symphony and is known for its famous chorale line “Ode to Joy” is considered to be the most famous piece of music in history
  • 14. A Sad Farewell Died at age of 56, March 26, 1827 Large Funeral Gathering Autopsy was performed Wahring Cemetery Scientists perform additional analysis
  • 15. Images Page
  • 16. Credits:www.biography.comwww.lvbeethoven.comwww.pbs.orgwww.allmusic.comwww.classicalmusic.about.comwww.encyclopedia.comwww.enotes.comwww.wikipedia.orgwww.youtube.comThe Western Humanities, 7th edition. By Roy T. Matthews, F. Dewitt Platt, &Thomas F. X. Noble. McGraw Hill Publishing, New York, NY.