The Life of Ludwig Van Beethoven

By sdrury
  • Beethoven is born.

    Beethoven is born.
    Ludwig Van Beethoven was born on Dec. 16, 1770. He was baptised on December 17th in Bonn, Germany. Ludwig's parents were Johann Van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich. [Photo of Bonn Germany]
  • Period: to

    The Life of Beethoven

  • First Public Performance

    First Public Performance
    On March 26th 1778, at the age of 7 ½, Ludwig Van Beethoven gave his first public performance at Cologne. At an early age, he took an interest in music and his father taught him day and night. Without a doubt, the child was gifted and his father Johann envisioned creating a new Mozart, a child prodigy.
  • Neefe becomes Beethoven's teacher

    Neefe becomes Beethoven's teacher
    Beethoven began studying with Christian Gottlob Neefe, the new Bonn court organist. Neefe took over his training on both the piano and the organ. [Photo of Neefe]
  • Beethoven's first piece is published

    Beethoven's first piece is published
    Listening: Beethoven's 9 Variations in C minor for Piano In 1782, before the age of 12, Beethoven published his first work: 9 Variations in C, for Piano, on a march by Ernst Christoph Dressler. [Photo of young Beethoven]
  • Begins teaching piano lessons

    Begins teaching piano lessons
    Frau Von Breuning was looking for a piano teacher for her two children, Eleonor and Lenz. This opened a door of opportunity for young Beethoven. He began earning some much needed extra money, but also became good friends with the Von Breuning children.This experience allowed Beethoven to become accustomed to working in a highly appropriate environment.
  • Beethoven travels to Vienna

    Beethoven travels to Vienna
    In 1787 Beethoven travelled to Vienna. This was the turning point in his career. He spent several weeks organising his future life during which time it is supposed he met Mozart, who would later be his teacher. Mozart asked Ludwig to play something for him. The young pianist of sixteen impressed the genius from Salzburg. Mozart went to an adjoining room where some friends were listening: "Take note", he said, "one day the whole world will be talking about him". [Photo of Mozart]
  • Mother passes away

    Mother passes away
    Beethoven spent no more than two weeks in Vienna due to an urgent letter his father had sent him. The letter informed him that his mother had fallen seriously ill. She was sick with consumption and soon after passed away. [Photo of Beethoven's mother]
    Beethoven became very depressed because of this.
  • Enrolls at Bonn, University

    Enrolls at Bonn, University
    For the 1789-1790 semester, Beethoven enrolled into the University of Bonn as a lay student, along with several other court musicians. [Photo of the University of Bonn]
  • Leaves for Vienna to study with Haydn

    Leaves for Vienna to study with Haydn
    Beethoven arranged to study with Franz Joseph Haydn in 1791 when Haydn visited Bonn, Germany. Haydn was a well known prolific composer and one of the most influencial composers of the Classical period. A year later, Beethoven left Bonn to begin is studying in Vienna.
  • Father passes

    Beethoven's father passes away due to dropsy of the heart. Because Beethoven is studying in Vienna at the time, he did not get to see his father before his passing.
  • Beethoven's debut in Vienna

    Beethoven's debut in Vienna
    On March 29th, Beethoven offically became known as a composer on his debut concert in Vienna. He also performed on the 30th and 31st for other events. It is said that he played his Piano Concerto No.1, Opus 15. [Photo of a Vienna concert hall]
  • "Trios for Piano" (opus 1) is published

    Beethoven's piece "Trios for Piano, Violin, and Violoncello" is published. Though, this piece was first performed in 1793.
  • Travels to Prague, Dresden, and Leipzig

    While Beethoven was reuniting with his brother Nikolaus Johannes in 1795, he also decided to make plans to travel to Praugue and perform. He also performed in other cities for various events, such as in Dresden and Leipzig.
  • Premier of First Symphony

    Premier of First Symphony
    Ludwig's Symphony No.1 in C major (Op.21) was written between 1799-1800. The piece first premiered on April 2, 1800 at the K.K Hoftheater nchst der Burg in Vienna. The piece is dedicated to Baron Gottfreid Van Swieten, an early patron of the Beethoven. The piece was published in 1801. Listening: Beethoven's Symphony No.1 Op.21Listening: Beethoven's Symphony No.1
  • Beethoven complains of hearing loss

    Beethoven complains of hearing loss
    Beethoven's hearing loss actually began around 1796, but was not really affecting him until around 1801. This tragic, unfortunate issue was caused by Beethoven having a sevre form of tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears. Slowly but surely, at this point Beethoven is gradually losing his hearing.
  • Ealy Period Ends

    Beethoven's compositional career is said to be divided into three periods (early, middle, and late). The early period ends at 1802, and a year later begins the next period of Beethoven's career.
  • Beethoven's Second Symphony

    Beethoven's Second Symphony
    Beethoven's Symphony No.2 in D (Op.36) was written between 1801 and 1802. It is dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky. This was near the time when Beethoven began to realize he was going deaf.
    Listening: Beethoven's Symphony No.2 Op.36
    [Photo of the Prince]
  • Middle Period Begins

    Middle Period Begins
    His middle period began shortly after Beethoven began realizing he began to be going deaf. This period is known for its large-scale works that express heroism and struggle. Many of these pieces have become quite famous. His middle period works include six symphonies, two more piano concertos, the triple concerto, and a violin concerto, five string quartets, the next seven piano sonatas, the "Kreutzer" Violin Sonata, and Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio. [Photo is og a drawing based on Fidelio]
  • Affair with Josephine Von Brunswick

    Affair with Josephine Von Brunswick
    Around 1804-05, Beethoven became interested in lady Josephine Von Brunswick. However, she was a widow at this time. Her husband had died in 1803 and she had already had several children and was pregnant with his last child. Beethoven visited her daily and played music for her to help her become more at ease. Josephine enjoyed Beethoven's presence, but the two never confirmed a relationship for reasons unknown, but it was evident the two shared sensual feelings for one another.
  • First public performance of Third Symphony

    First public performance of Third Symphony
    Beethoven's Third Symphony was named the "Eroica Symphony". This piece was originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonparte because Beethoven admired the ideals of the French Revolution. However, he was so disgusted when Napoleon declared himself emporer of France, that he violently scratched his name off the title page of his third symphony and made a hole in the paper. He then retitled the piece "Symphonia Eroica". This piece was premiered private in 1804. [Photo of the score of the Eroica Symphony]
  • Opera "Fidelio" premiers

    Opera "Fidelio" premiers
    "Fidelio" is an opera in two acts by Ludwig Van Beethoven. This was Beethoven's only opera and was a German libretto by Joseph Sonnleithner. [Photo of a scene from "Fidelio"]
  • Beethoven's Fourth Symphony

    Beethoven's Fourth Symphony
    Symphony No.4 in B flat major, Op.60, was written in 1806/ The piece was dedicated to Count Franz Von Oppersdorf, a relative of Beethoven's patron. The Count met Beethoven when he traveled to visit Prince Lichnowsky's home heard him playing his Symhpny No.2. He like it so much he deicided to pay a large sum of money for Beethoven to write a symphony for him as well. Listening: Beethoven's Symphony No.4 Op.60 [Photo of the Count]
  • Symphonies No.5 and No.6

    Symphonies No.5 and No.6
    Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67 was written in 1804-08. This symphony is one of the most popular pieces in all of European classical music, and one of the most often played symphonies. It was known as "one of the most important works of that time". Beethoven wrote his 5th symphony on and off and finished it in parallel to his 6th. He played both Symphony No.5 and No,6 at the same concert.
    Listening: Beethoven's Symphony No.5
  • Beethoven's Seventh Symphony

    Beethoven's Seventh Symphony
    Symphony No.7 in A major Op.92, was written in 1811 while he was staying in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice in hopes of improving his health. It was completed in 1812 and was dedicated to Count Moritz Von Fries. The work was premired in Vienna on Dec. 8, 1813 at a charity concert for soldiers. Beethoven himself conducted the piece at the premier.
    Listening: Symphony No.7
  • Beethoven's Eighth Symphony

    Beethoven's Eighth Symphony
    Symphony No.8 in F major, Op.93, was one that Beethoven referred to as "my little one". The eighth symphony bears no dedication, unlike the previous seven.The piece is overall light-hearted and musically entertaining.This piece does not reflect Beethoven's life at the time and clouded his issues. It's fourth movement also helped music stray away from Classical traditions and begin a new type of music. Listening: Symphony No.8
  • Beethoven's Late Period

    Beethoven's Late Period began around 1815. Works from this period are characterized by their intellectual depth, their formal innovations, and their intense, highly personal expression.
  • Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

    Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
    Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125, "Choral", is the last complete symphony composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the ninth symphony is one of the best known works of the Western repertoire; one of Beethoven's greatest masterpieces. It is the first example of a major composer using the human voice alongside instrumental creating a work of a grand scope that set the tone for Romantic symphonic form.
    Listening: Symphony No.9
  • Beethoven's death.

    Beethoven's death.
    Beethoven passed away due to the illness pneumonia. Beethoven was staying with his brother's home in the country when the two got in a heated argument that led to Ludwig leaving the house. He left in a old, rickety cart and traveled to Vienna. The bad weather encountered on his trip caused him to become ill with pneumonia. Months later in March, this illness was the reason for his death.