A service of Cincinnati Public Radio  

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Beethoven's Symphonies

Plenty of composers wrote more symphonies than Beethoven, but few did more to change the way the symphony sounded. Beethoven's First Symphony reflects the fact that he learned from Mozart and Haydn. At the time he composed his Third, it was the longest symphony ever written, and Beethoven's Ninth was the first symphony to use voices. Beethoven’s 5th Symphony may be the most famous piece of music ever written.

Music heard in this episode:
Beethoven: Symphony #1
Beethoven: Symphony #2
Beethoven: Symphony #3
Beethoven: Symphony #4
Beethoven: Symphony #5
Beethoven: Symphony #6
Beethoven: Symphony #7
Beethoven: Symphony #8
Beethoven: Symphony #9

Other shows about Ludwig van Beethoven:
About Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven the Pianist
Music that Imitates Inanimate Objects
Roll Over Beethoven

Download this month's activity sheet

About Ludwig van Beethoven
12/16/1770 - 3/26/1827
Born in Germany

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. His father, who was a singer, was his first teacher. After a while, even though he was still only a boy, Ludwig became a traveling performer, and soon, he was supporting his family.

In his early twenties, Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he spent the rest of his life. Beethoven was one of the first composers to make a living without being employed by the church or a member of the nobility. At first, he was known as a brilliant pianist. But when he was around 30 years old, Beethoven started going deaf. Even though he could no longer hear well enough to play the piano, Beethoven composed some of his best music after he was deaf!

Beethoven is considered one of the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived. He may be most famous for his nine symphonies, but he also wrote many other kinds of music: chamber and choral music, piano music and string quartets, and an opera.

See other composers born in Germany


This Week's Quiz:

1. How many symphonies did Beethoven write?





2.Symphony #3 was originally dedicated to Napoleon before Beethoven changed its name to the Heroic Symphony.



3. What important new thing did Beethoven add to his ninth symphony?

a fifth movement



a string quartet


Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 8

Composed in 1812
Performed by Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia
Bela Drahos, conductor

Talk to us
We love to hear your comments on Classics for Kids.

Get the Classics for Kids Volume 1 & 2 CD set for your family

Home | This Week's Show | Past Shows | Composers | Games | Music | More | For Grownups
On the Radio | Events | Links | Contact Us
Teachers | Parents | About Classics for Kids | Privacy Policy
©2017, Cincinnati Public Radio, Inc.