16 december ♥

Beethoven’s birthplace
at Bonngasse 20,
now the Beethoven House museum

 

Ludwig van Beethoven baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer. 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. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis and anopera, Fidelio. Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe.

 

German stamp
on the occasion of the opening of
the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, 1959

 

At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn, and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his 30s his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life.

 

Beethoven’s grave site
Vienna Zentralfriedhof

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