Ludwig van Beethoven Biography

Last Updated: 26 Jan 2021
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In the month of December 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven was born to Johann van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich in the town of Bonn. Ludwig was named after his grandfather, Kappellmeister, the most respected musician in Bonn. Ludwig van Beethoven was the eldest son, and had two younger brothers, Nikolaus Johann and Caspar Carl.

Beethoven's father, Johann, taught his son to play instruments at a young age. He made Ludwig practice strenuously and most likely struck his son across the knuckles when Ludwig would make a error. Johann was an avid alcoholic and often woke the boy up in the night to play. Despite his father's tiring persistence, the young Beethoven loved music and his extraordinary talent was manifest.

Some years before Ludwig's birth, Johann van Beethoven had heard of the child prodigy Mozart who made a great profit from performing all over Europe. This inspired Johann to make money off of Ludwig, therefore, in March of 1778 seven-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven performed in Sternengasse. No one knows how Ludwig's concert went; whether or not it went well or Johann's emotions on the performance.

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Not long after Beethoven's concert, his father put him in school. Ludwig had difficulty making friends with his fellow classmates and was teased at school for his dark features, the schoolchildren calling him a Spaniard. Not long after, Johann van Beethoven pulled his son out of school to improve upon Ludwig's musical talent in 1781. Beethoven soon surpassed his father, and Johann sought to find a suitable teacher. He stumbled upon Christian Gottlob Neefe, an accomplished composer and conductor who came to the town of Bonn because of its reputation of the arts.

Ludwig highly respected and admired his new teacher. Neefe taught Beethoven for 6 years, and then in March 1787 Ludwig was funded to travel to Vienna and meet the great musician Mozart. Very little is known about his encounter with the famed composer, but that Beethoven stayed in Vienna for two weeks. While in Vienna, Johann van Beethoven sent word that his wife had fallen ill. Ludwig left at once, and when he arrived in Bonn his mother's sickness had turned fatal.

So in the month of July 1787, Maria Magdalena Keverich passed away. Ludwig van Beethoven was now head of the family. Beethoven's father, Johann's drinking worsened after the death of Maria Magdalena; leading to getting arrested after becoming seriously drunk in public. His actions caused him to be discharged from court service and further humiliating the family. Johann van Beethoven died the month of December in 1792.

Beethoven's hearing was beginning to leave him in 1797. For some time he tried to keep it a secret, and meanwhile the great musician composed many complex pieces including Piano Sonata in C minor, the "Pathetique", and his First Symphony. In 1801 Beethoven became piano teacher to Countess Giulietta Guicciardi. The social ranking between them was obvious, yet the two fell in love. Luwig even proposed marriage but Giulietta's father would not hear of it.

Despite this rejection Ludwig van Beethoven composed "Moonlight Sonata" and dedicated it to the Countess. Beethoven had many doctors examine him and had been prescribed a lot of bizarre remedies, and then in the early months of 1802 a certain Dr. Johann Adam Schmidt advised Ludwig to move away from the dusty, bustling Vienna. The doctor had an acquaintance who happened to be the possessor of a cottage in the quaint village of Heiligenstadt.

There Beethoven could rest in solitude, with the company of a friend's son, Ferdinand Ries. Ludwig also pieced together his Second Symphony and other compositions. On returning to Vienna after six months, Beethoven was employed at the Theater an der Wien as a composer-in-residence. Carl moved in with him, which was a high disadvantage hence Beethoven had never been close to his brothers.

The brothers' living together must have caused a lot of friction between them, yet the Third Piano Concerto was completed along with Christus am Olberge, an oratorio. In the spring of 1806, Ludwig van Beethoven's brother Carl was married to Johanna Reiss, and three months later their son Karl was born.

Over the course of those years Beethoven composed his Third Symphony, Eroica, his Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Symphony, and his Fourth Piano Concerto. During these years Beethoven also fell in love with a few more women. In 1810 he wrote Fur Elise and at the top of the page was found these words, "For Elise on 27 April to remind you of L. V. Bthvn." It is believed that Elise is Therese Malfatti, since the piece of music had been found in her belongings forty-one years after her death.

Two years later, he wrote the legendary Immortal Beloved letters in a hotel located in Teplice. In the year of 1815, Beethoven's brother Carl fell ill and passed away, leaving Ludwig the guardian of his five-year-old nephew Karl. For over three years, Beethoven fought against Johanna in court over the guardianship of Karl and won. Ludwig van Beethoven's health was slowly declining the last eight years of his life. He had symptoms "and it concerned his digestive system.

He complained of bloated stomach, colic, diarrhoea, indigestion." Despite his health issues along with his severe deafness, Beethoven composed "Hammerklavier" and several of the Piano Sonatas, Opp 109, 110, and 111, along with the Ninth Symphony and the Late Quartets. These pieces were considered to be the musician's greatest body of work ever composed. Over this time, Beethoven started compiling his myriad of conversation books, in which he used to communicate with people. It is estimated to have been about 400 of these books, but only 136 have survived today.

In the year of 1826, Ludwig van Beethoven became fatally ill and had four surgeries, drawing fluid that had gathered in his stomach. On March 24th 1827, the acclaimed composer fell into a coma, and two days later he uttered his last breath. The world shall evermore remember this man and his music, the effect that he had on humankind. His music that has inspired and fascinated many people for generations after his death shall still do so, and forever be loved.

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Ludwig van Beethoven Biography. (2018, Aug 26). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/ludwig-van-beethoven-biography/

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