Ludwig van Beethoven
Date of Birth
December 17, 1770 (date of baptism)
Date of Death
March 26, 1827
Place of Birth
Johann van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich Beethoven
Ludwig attended primary school until the age of ten
German Composer and pianist
Reason for Fame
Beethoven is one of the most acclaimed and influential composers of all time. Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music He is referred to as one of the “three B’s” along with Brahms and Bach. He was also a pivotal figure in the transition from 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism. Beethoven composed nine symphonies and about a dozen pieces of “occasional” music. He wrote nine concerti for one or more soloists and orchestra, as well as four shorter works that include soloists accompanied by orchestra. The only opera he wrote was Fidelio. He wrote several vocal pieces which includes two masses and a number of shorter works. He wrote 32 piano sonatas and a number of shorter pieces for the piano as well. Works with piano accompaniment include 10 violin sonatas, 5 cello sonatas, and a sonata for French Horn. Beethoven also wrote a significant quantity of chamber music. In addition, Beethoven wrote 16 string quartets, five string quintets, seven piano trios, and more than a dozen works for a variety of combinations of wind instruments.
In 1796, Beethoven began to lose his hearing and was almost totally deaf by the time of his death.