Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was born in Bonn, Germany. Both his father and his grandfather were singers at the court of the elector of Max Fredrich, the local prince. He had to support his family from a young age because his dad was an alcoholic. He use to be an assistant organist and soon a harpsichordist in the court’s orchestra. He was given the chance to play to Mozart and Mozart was very amazed by Beethoven’s improvisation. His great talent as a pianist got him welcomed by the aristocracy in Vienna like Prince Lobkowitz, Prince Lichnowsky and Count Razumovsky. He was accepted as their friends. Even though he didn’t work at any of the princes’ homes, they helped him in many ways like paying him for lessons and giving him gifts. Then something happened to Beethoven, he started to lose his hearing when he was in his twenties. This was very devastating to Beethoven since his hearing was something he was talented in. He had to retire in 1802 to a summer resort that was called Heliligenstadt, a place just outside Vienna. He realized that music was the only way to make him happy after becoming deaf. His final years were spent composing many musical pieces. When he rode in an open carriage during bad weather, his attack of edema killed him. Beethoven had many musical works and these works were divided into three compositional periods. The first section’s music had the classical elements, which he inherited from Mozart and Haydn. Symphonies 1 and 2 belong to this period. The second section’s music had more of the romantic style to write pieces of work. Symphonies 3-6 were written in this period. The last section used more chromatic harmonies and this style was not in his time. His ninth symphony was written during this period.