Beethoven's Birthplace (03:53)
Ludwig VanBeethoven was born in 1770 in one of Germany’s oldest cities. Bonn was the capital city of the Electorate of Cologne, seat of the Archdiocese, and home to the Romanesque Minster church.
Beethoven's Family (04:13)
Beethoven's birthplace now houses a library, museum, and performance hall; his parents, Johann and Maria Magdalena Keverich, moved there in 1767. Beethoven was baptized at Saint Remigius. His father was a singer and his grandfather court Kapellmeister.
Beethoven's Youth (05:17)
At eight, Beethoven began studies with Christian Gottlob Neefe; by 13 he was a published composer and traveling. Beethoven returned to Bonn to care for his mother, supporting his family after her death. In 1792, he returns to Vienna, studying with
Beethoven's Sound (04:23)
Prompting the Romantic Period, Beethoven’s music inspired emotion and drama; his first focus was on performance. Venetian salons expected improvisation and original pieces.
Beethoven Becomes a Master (02:59)
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger becomes Beethoven’s composition teacher in 1794. Wealthy nobility utilized Beethoven's talents, making him popular in Vienna. He published his first works and by 1795, plays public concerts.
Beethoven's Lifestyle (03:18)
Beethoven lived at over 60 Vienna addresses, choosing to rent . He resided at Pasqualatihaus intermittently for eight years before he was evicted for noise complaints.
Beethoven's Onset of Deafness (06:33)
In 1801, Emanuel Schikaneder commissioned Beethoven to write an opera, and he published Symphony No. 1, Op. 21; Beethoven kept his hearing problems secret. In 1802, he attempts to recover at Heiligenstadt, but writes a testament revealing suicidal intentions.
Sinfonia Eroica (04:12)
After returning from Heiligenstadt, Beethoven composed his Third Symphony, initially entitling it Bonaparte, but renaming it after the general named himself Emperor. The piece defines his Heroic Era.
Modernized Piano (04:02)
Piano makers begin making larger, stronger instruments, inspiring Beethoven to write Waldstein and Appassionata sonatas. His Middle Period compositions are highly technical and dynamic, shocking audiences. Beethoven overhauls opera Fidelio, releasing it again in 1814.
Beethoven Performances (03:38)
Love eluded Beethoven, but his popularity became international; Vienna citizens financially supported him. Beethoven premiered "Symphony No. 8" in 1814. Nearly deaf, he stopped playing publicly.
Beethoven and Guardianship (04:18)
Beethoven sued his sister-in-law for custody of his nephew Karl. Years later, he gave up guardianship when the youth attempted suicide, dedicating "Op. 131" to him. Beethoven's Late Period differentiates him from other composers.
Beethoven's Death (04:42)
Beethoven wrote a will, leaving his estate to his nephew; he died of liver failure in March, 1827. Beethoven was buried at Wahring cemetery but his remains were moved to Zentralfriedhof in 1888.
Credits: L. van Beethoven (01:27)
Credits: L. van Beethoven
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