Beethoven, Ludwig van

Beethoven, Ludwig van
   The composer was the offspring of a musical family that had emigrated to Germany from the Netherlands. At 13 years of age, Beethoven played viola and harpsichord in the house orchestra of the prince-bishop of Bonn. He studied briefly at the local university, but never took a degree. Beethoven stayed briefly in Vienna in 1787, but he returned to Germany because of family obligations. After 1792, he made the Habsburg capital his permanent residence. There he studied counterpoint with Joseph Haydn, to whom he dedicated his first three piano sonatas. He also worked with other local teachers, including Anton Salieri, the music director of the imperial chapel and court orchestra. His musical output was not only sizeable, but strikingly original. His nine symphonies, five piano concertos, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, and many other works owe a great deal to the models of Mozart and Haydn, as well as to other 18th-century German composers, but move well beyond them in expressive force. This is particularly true of the Ninth Symphony and the introspective string quartets of his last years. His deafness, which had become total by 1820, clearly influenced the mood of the latter.
   Beethoven was well connected to the musical circles of Vienna. His patrons were among the most influential nobles of the city and even the imperial family itself. He gave music lessons in 1803–1804 to Archduke Rudolph (1788–1831), to whom the composer dedicated several works, including the Emperor (Fifth) Piano Concerto. Along with two noblemen, Rudolph set up an endowment to keep Beethoven from taking employment elsewhere, an arrangement that collapsed when the government declared bankruptcy in 1811. The composer’s funeral, from the Church of the Holy Trinity, was a major public spectacle.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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  • Beethoven, Ludwig van — • Composer (1770 1827) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Beethoven, Ludwig van — (baptized Dec. 17, 1770, Bonn, archbishopric of Cologne died March 26, 1827, Vienna, Austria) German composer. Born to a musical family, he was a precociously gifted pianist and violist. After nine years as a court musician in Bonn, he moved to… …   Universalium

  • Beethoven, Ludwig Van — (1777–1827)    The music of Ludwig Van Beethoven held a lifelong fascination for STANLEY KUBRICK. He was not the first, nor certainly the last, to indulge this passion. After attending a performance of the Ninth Symphony in 1841, Robert Schumann… …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

  • Beethoven,Ludwig van — Bee·tho·ven (bāʹtō vən), Ludwig van. 1770 1827. German composer. Among the greatest composers in history, he began to lose his hearing in 1801 and was deaf by 1819. His music, which formed a transition from classical to romantic composition,… …   Universalium

  • Beethoven, Ludwig van — ► (1770 1827) Compositor alemán. Recibió lecciones de Mozart. Sobresalió en la sinfonía, que con él alcanza la madurez expresiva y formal; compuso nueve en total: la primera en do mayor (1800); la segunda en re mayor (1803); la tercera en mi… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Beethoven, Ludwig van — (baptized 17 December 1770, Bonn – 26 March 1827, Vienna)    Renowned chiefly for his supreme mastery of instrumental genres symphony, concerto, sonata, and string quartet Beethoven only composed four explicitly sacred works: the oratorio… …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

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