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Ludwig van Beethoven:
About Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a uniquely talented composer and musician. But by the time Beethoven was 30, his increasing deafness put an end to his career as a pianist. That did not stop him from continuing to compose some of the most beautiful music the world has ever known. As a composer, Beethoven was a revolutionary. He took the Classical forms he learned from Mozart and Haydn, and pushed them into the next period of musical history -- the Romantic era.

Music heard in this episode:
Beethoven: Symphony #5
Beethoven: Für Elise
Beethoven: String Quartet Op. 18 #2
Beethoven: Sonata #18
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #5
Beethoven: Symphony #7
Beethoven: Leonore Overture #3
Beethoven: Symphony # 9

Other shows about Ludwig van Beethoven:
Beethoven the Pianist
Beethoven's Symphonies
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. Beethoven's favorite instrument was the





2.Beethoven's teacher in Vienna was





3. Beethoven gave up his career as a pianist because

he was going deaf

he wanted to play the clarinet

he didn't have time to practice

he wanted to compose more music


Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 8

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

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