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German composer and pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven, was born December 1770 and spent most of his life in Vienna, Austria. His first teacher was his alcoholic father, who worked as a musician at the Court of Bonn. Teaching him day and night, Ludwig suffered from his father’s harsh and erratic behavior. For a time, he and his father played at the Church. As his father’s alcoholism increased, Ludwig became the main musician.Beethoven’s talents were discovered at an early age, and he was sent to Vienna to study under different teachers including Mozart and Hayden. There, Beethoven quickly adopted a reputation of a great piano player, a child prodigy. He gave his first public performance at the age of eight and published his first works at the age of twelve: nine variations, in C Minor, for piano. Christian Goftlob Neefe was sure that Beethoven’s talents would make him the new Mozart of the time.At the age of fourteen, Beethoven was appointed to the Court of Maximillian Franz, Elector of Cologne, as an organist. His promising career, however, would have to be put on hold in order to raise his two younger brothers. This turn of events took place because his mother had died of tuberculosis and his father had further deteriorated into alcoholism.Finally, in 1792 Beethoven studied with Joseph Hayden in Vienna along with Johan George Albrechtsberger and Antonio Salieri. By 1795, he was an established piano virtuoso working not for the church or noble court but for members of the aristocracy, who paid for his compositions and subscribed to his concerts. He also gained income from public concerts, music lessons, and selling his works.In 1800 Beethoven presented his first symphony though it was considered risque an…

… covey too much at once.Overall, I would come back to this biography only to reference facts about Beethoven and the history that was happening and influencing the composer at the time. I found the contents of the biography very useful in learning about the life and conflicts of Ludwig van Beethoven. The famous composer led an interesting and semi-tragic life. Otherwise, I would not sit and read Beethoven: The Universal Composer for personal pleasure.

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Works CitedLane, William. “Deafness.” The Immortal 2005. 13 November 2006.”Ludwig van Beethoven.” Classical Music Master 13 November 2006.”Ludwig van Beethoven.” Wikipedia 11 November 2006. 13 November 2006.Morris, Edmund. Beethoven: The Universal Composer. Harper Collins: New York, 2005.Prevot, Dominique. “Ludwig van Beethoven’s Biography.” Beethoven’s WebsiteDecember 2005. 13 November 2006.

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