A legendary music composer and a celebrated pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven is, undoubtedly, one of the most influential people to have existed on Planet Earth. Beethoven, as the world recognizes him, was born in Bonn (now in Germany) and was responsible for transforming the classical era of Western classic music into the romantic version. One can easily relate this German-born composer to intricate and classical pieces of work in music, including symphonies, opera, concerti, piano sonatas, violin sonatas, and string quartets. Beethoven started learning the piano at the tender age of four or five under the guidance of his father, his first music teacher. Scroll through the following lines to discover interesting and fun facts about this extraordinary and ultra creative celebrity.
Interesting Facts About Beethoven
- Born in 1770, Beethoven was the eldest of 7 siblings, 4 of whom passed away during childhood.
- His first public performance came at the age of seven on 26th March 1778. Interestingly, 26th March was the same date when Beethoven died.
- While delivering his first performance in Cologne, Beethoven’s father announced him to be six years old. It was due to this declaration that he always thought himself to be 1½ years younger than his real age. It was only years later when he received his baptism certificate did he learn about his real age. He assumed it to be his elder brother’s certificate who died in childhood.
- Beethoven was lucky to learn music under the guidance of well-known musicians, like Gottlob Neefe, Joseph Haydn, Albrechtsberger, Salieri and the celebrated Mozart.
- It was in 1782 at the young age of 12 when Beethoven published his first composition. It was a set of keyboard variations that eventually declared him as one of the popular piano players in history.
- He moved to Vienna in 1792 where he met the prominent Austrian composer Joseph Haydn and studied piano under him. This earned him the reputation of a virtuoso pianist in no time.
- Beethoven is known for composing 9 symphonies, 7 concertos, 17 string quartets, 32 piano sonatas, and 10 violin sonatas, 5 cello sonatas, a sonata for French horn.
- Beethoven was one of the first musiciansto be given annual grant of 4000 florins, just because the people didn't want him to leave Vienna.
- Beethoven wrote three love letters to an “Immortal Blood”, the mystery of which remains unsolved till date. Since he fell in love with many women, biographers are unable to figure out the woman behind this entire eccentric puzzle.
- During his entire lifetime, Beethoven wrote just one opera titled Fidelio which is still considered to be one of the classical and prominent pieces of art.
- His musical life was divided into three major periods. It was during the second period, popularly known as the “Heroic” period, when he struggled a lot and attained heroism. Even his renowned Fifth Symphony was one of the masterpieces composed during this period.
- Around 1796, Beethoven started having hearing problems. What started as an annoying ringing sensation worsened and transformed into a severe ailment called tinnitus. And by 1816, he had completely lost his hearing and became deaf.
- Despite losing his hearing powers, Beethoven continued to compose, conduct, and perform. He used a special rod on his piano sound board which he used to bite as it helped him determine the sound through the vibrations that traveled from the piano to his jaw.
- Strangely, Beethoven poured lots of ice water on his head whenever he sat down to compose music.
- Almost 20,000 people attended his funeral, which took place three days after his death, on 29th March 1827. Franz Schubert, a great Beethoven admirer, was one of the grave bearers and died in the following year. Amusingly, he was buried next to Beethoven.
- In August 1845, Beethoven's monument at Bonn was unveiled, which also happened to be the first monument of a composer that was created in Germany.
What Beethoven started off as an interest transformed his career into a legend giving the world a new piece of art. Hope these interesting Beethoven facts must have amazed you, at least for once.