Beethoven - Summary

Ludwig van Beethoven is considered one of the greatest classical composers who has ever lived. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born, but he is baptized on December 17, 1770 in Bonn, Germany. 

With an alcoholic father, Ludwig has a difficult life as a young boy. To escape, he loses himself in music. WIth an extraordinary talent for piano playing, he begins composing when he is only twelve years old.

Ludwig moves to Vienna, Austria in 1792 and lives there for the rest of his life. He writes classical music for the piano, orchestra and different groups of instruments. Idolized by the public, Ludwig has a good life in Vienna. Beethoven is popular with the city's rich and important people. Even with his popularity, however, Ludwig faces financial problems and has to find sponsors when his music cannot support him.

Ludwig never marries and has no children of his own. He does, however, become so obsessed with gaining custody of his nephew, Karl, that he does not compose for two years. After a lengthy legal battle, he finally gets custody of the boy. His relationship with his nephew is very strained. In 1826, Karl tries to shoot himself. He survives but leaves Beethoven to join the army.

In 1801, Ludwig begins to lose his hearing. His deafness gradually becomes worse and, by 1817, he is completely deaf. Instead of allowing deafness to overwhelm him, however, Ludwig begins a period of prodigious and brilliant composition. 

Although he cannot hear all the notes with his ears, Beethoven writes some of the best-known symphonies of all time. His well-known works include his sixth ("Pastoral") and ninth ("Choral") symphonies, and his eighth ("Pathetique") and fourteenth ("Moonlight") piano sonatas.  Beethoven’s amazing classical music is still popular today.

Ludwig dies on March 26, 1827 but his legacy exists today through his music. The compositional path Beethoven creates allows other composers to break free from prescribed musical formats. In this story about an extraordinary musician, learn about the man behind the music.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2009

Updated Last Revision: Mar 23, 2018

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"Beethoven" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 01, 2009. Nov 12, 2019.
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