Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany and was baptized December 17th 1770. Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. He was an important figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music. His Third Symphony Eroica was so different from all the music before it that it changed music forever. When Beethoven was young he was forced to play the piano by his father who was a very strict and hard music teacher. By the time he was twelve he was earning a living for his family by playing the organ and composing. Beethoven moved to Vienna 1787 to study with Mozart but had to return to his hometown because of his mother’s death. In 1792 he went back to Vienna and began studying with Franz Joseph Haydn, quickly gaining a reputation as a “virtuoso pianist”. He was eventually known as the greatest pianist of his time playing only for the rich and the famous. In 1800 Beethoven gradually began to lose his hearing but continued to compose but by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. He gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose. He composed many of the most famous and admired musical works of all time in this period, such as the Ninth Symphony. Beethoven remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time. His best-known compositions include Symphonies 1 through 9, Moonlight Sonata, Fur Elise, Fidelio, and Missa Solemnis. He died on March 26th 1827 after being ill for a long time.
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