Ludwig van Beethoven (English IPA: /ˈlʊdvɪg væn ˈbeɪtoʊvən/; German pronunciation: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn], 16 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.
Born in Bonn, then in the Electorate of Cologne (now in modern-day Germany), he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.
Beethoven Quick Facts:
* Beethoven composed all 9 symphonies between 1799 and 1824.
* He studied under Haydn for less than a year in 1793.
* In 1801, he wrote a letter to his friend about his loss of hearing.
Beethoven's Family Background:
In 1740, Beethoven's father, Johann was born. Johann sang soprano in the electoral chapel where his father was Kapellmeister (chapel master). Johann grew up proficient enough to teach violin, piano, and voice to earn a living. Johann married Maria Magdalena in 1767 and gave birth to Ludwig Maria in 1769, who died 6 days later. On December 17, 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven was born. Maria later gave birth to five other children, but only two survived, Caspar Anton Carl and Nikolaus Johann.