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Biography of Ludwig van Beethoven#


1712 The family van Beethoven is of Flemish origin. Beethoven’s grandfather was a choirboy in Mecheln, director

1733 Grandfather Beethoven moves to Bonn.

1740 Around 1740 Beethoven’s father, Johann van Beethoven, was born in Bonn.

1770 December 17th, Ludwig van Beethoven’s baptism in Bonn.

1778 His first appearance in an academy concert at Cologne. Beethoven was meant to have similar successes like Mozart as a child prodigy, but his father’s tuition was not very successful and Beethoven’s very nature was not destined for such a career.

1782 Christian Gottlob Neefe (1748 - 1798) becomes his teacher. Beethoven found in him an ideal tutor who taught him piano and music theory with pedagogical insight.

1787 First stay in Vienna, which had to be cut short, however, because of his mother’s illness. After her death his father’s alcohol addiction grew worse. 1792 Second journey to Vienna in November. He got instruction from Joseph Haydn, Johann Baptist Schenk ("Österreich-Lexikon") and Antonio Salieri. Two years later French troops occupied the Palatinate in Cologne. This meant that an employment in the Court Chapel was no longer possible for Beethoven and a return to Bonn was out of the question.

1793 Beethoven travels to Eisenstadt with Joseph Haydn.

1798 His hearing begins to deteriorate.

1802 On October 6th Beethoven writes his Heiligenstadt Testament, in which he reveals his mental anguish.

1804 Composition of the 3rd symphony ("Eroica").

1808 Dezember 22nd: In a great academy the 5th and 6th symphonies are first performed at the Theater an der Wien.

1809 On March 1st Archduke Rudolph, Prince Franz Joseph Lobkowitz and Ferdinand Kinsky sign a contract which guarantees Beethoven a life-long pension of 4,000 Gulden (florins). Vienna is besieged by Napoleon’s troops.

1812 Composition of the 7th symphony.

1815 Concerts at the Congress of Vienna. Death of his brother Karl. He becomes guardian of his nephew.

1819 Total deafness. He starts writing down conversations. 137 have been preserved (out of the 400 original ones). They give an insight into Beethoven’s everyday life.

1824 First performance of his 9th symphony at the Vienna Kärtnertortheater.

1827 Liver cirrhosis, 4 operations. Death on the late afternoon of March 26th.

On March 29th he is buried at the Cemetery of Währing. The funeral is attended by more than 20,000 people. A funeral oration by Grillparzer is read by actor Heinrich Anschütz.