Beethoven, Ludwig van

[Ludwig van Beethoven] (1770-1827) Composer, born Bonn, Germany; died Vienna, Austria. His earliest published compositions, three piano sonatas, appeared in 1783. His teachers from 1779-1781. were Pfeiffer, a tenor singer, and Van den Eeden and Neefe, organists to the Court Chapel. While deputy-organist under Neefe, then accompanist at operatic rehearsals, and second organist, 1784, he found time to compose, and in 1787 astonished Mozart at Vienna by his performance. As second viola p1ayer in the Elector Maximilian's orchestra, his talents were highly esteemed and in 1792 he was sent to Vienna for lessons with Haydn in counterpoint. From 1795, with the publication of Three Trios, he composed continuously, producing from 1800-1815 six symphonies, the Coriolanus and Egmont, overtures, and the opera Fidelio. The Ninth Symphony and Mass in D belong to a third period. His deafness became acute in 1802. A lawsuit, 1816-1820, and the care of his unworthy nephew, contributed to his decline and final illness. He had contemplated a Tenth Symphony.

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