Ludwig van Beethoven - Famous Composers in History

Beethoven remains the most famous, the most influential, and the greatest composer of all time. Editorial credit: IgorGolovniov /
Beethoven remains the most famous, the most influential, and the greatest composer of all time. Editorial credit: IgorGolovniov /

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer who was baptized on December 17, 1770, and most likely born on December 16, 1770. He is the most celebrated composer of five piano concerto, 16 string quartets, nine symphonies, one violin concerto, one opera, Fidelio, and the great mass, the Missa Solemnis, among others. Ludwing van Beethoven was a key figure during the transition of Western art music from the classical era to the Romantic era. He remains the most famous, the most influential, and the greatest composer of all time.

Early life

He was born and raised in Bonn and was the first child of Johann and Maria Magdalena van Beethoven. Bethoven's music abilities can be traced back to his grandfather who was a signer in the archbishop-elector of Cologne choir. Also, his father was also a singer in the elector choir. Beethoven's first instruments were the piano and violin taught by his father. Later on, Beethoven also had other teachers, among them family friend Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer, Gilles van den Eeden, and a relative. Beethoven had a hard time during his tuition when he began his fifth year. His father also gave him a hard time. He used to drag him out of bed to perform for him and his drunken companions. By age twelve, Beethoven was already exceptionally good at playing the keyboard. At this time he was a pupil under Christian Gottlob Neefe. He even played the piano at church when Neefe was not available to play in church.


Beethoven's first performance was on March 29, 1795, with a piano in a concert in Vienna's Burgtheater. Before his first performance, Beethoven had studied under several teachers while in Vienna. He studied under Haydn, Ignaz Schuppanzigh, and he learnt to play violin. He also received occasional training from Antonio Salieri. By 1793 Beethoven became known for playing fugues preludes of J. S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier in the salons of nobility. Also, his compositions started to get published with the first one being a set of variations WoO 66. His friend Nikolaus Simrock was doing Ludwig van Beethoven publications. It is also in 1793 that Beethoven was able to build his reputation in Vienna as a piano virtuoso. Beethoven got his first financial success from three publications: the three piano trios, opus number, and Opus 1. Payment from these publications was enough to sustain him for a year.

Major Contributions

Beethoven is regarded as the greatest musician among the levels of Bach and Brahms; together the three are known as the three Bs. For Beethoven, he is best known for his composition in the industry. He composed 32 piano sonatas, five cello sonatas, ten violin sonatas, and many other short pieces. Also, his compositions are regarded as the best in his time.


Beethoven never married because of different reason like differences in class. His other major challenge was his health. He was affected by chronic abdominal pain from his twenties. His hearing also changed him significantly. He eventually lost his hearing to the point that he had to be turned to see people applauding. It affected him greatly, in so that he gave up on performing but continued to compose. In fact, one of his best compositions was after he had lost his hearing ability.

Death and Legacy

Ludwig van Beethoven was bedridden during his last moments, and he died on March 26, 1827, at the age of 56. Although an autopsy showed liver cirrhosis caused his death, there is a debate over the cause of his death.

Beethoven has left a legacy, by which many of his compositions are still in use today. Apart from that many music lovers are inspired by the work of Beethoven. His work acts as an inspiration to many music lovers. And he profoundly influenced future composers. His music was part of the music from Earth among other recordings that were sent into space with two Voyager probes. Beethoven House is a museum in Bonn where Beethoven was born was constructed in his honor. Beethovenfest is an annual musical festival organized in the same city since 1845, though initially it was not regular.


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