World Famous People
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in a small town ‘Bonn’ of Germany on 16 December 1770 in a family of professional musicians. Ludwig van Beethoven father Johann and grandfather Ludwig were musicians and they had decided to train him in music right from his childhood, so his father took on the job to teach him the basic lessons of music. Ludwig learned violin and some other instruments from his father. His father wanted Ludwig to be perfect in music, and in that endeavor he thrashed littel Ludwig whenever he made any mistake during practice (According to one story, because of the punishments given by his father Ludwig suffered from hearing problems in future, which ruined his life). Besides the fact that his father and grandfather had a wish that little Ludwig should become a great musician, he himself had a great interest in music. Whatever treatment Ludwig received from his father, he never let fade his love and interest in music.
Further, Ludwig van Beethoven was sent to learn music from C. G. Neefe. Ludwig van Beethoven learned every possible and minute detail of music from Neefe and also became his assistant when was 11 years of age. He learned piano, violin and organ from Neefe. Beethoven and Mozart share many situations in their lives which are perfectly similar in many aspects, both of them were born in a family where music was the most important and indivisible part of life, both received training in music right from their childhood, they both had genuine interest in music and like Mozart, Beethoven also had started performing in public events, shows etc. when he was just six years of age. When Beethoven was twelve years old, his first music work was published. Ludwig dropped out of his school when he was thirteen year old in order to concentrate on his practice and to perform in musical tours.
Ludwig van Beethoven then continued assisting Neefe till he was seventeen years old. In 1787, he went to Vienna in search of good opportunities and to demonstrate his talent in music. But he had to return to his house in Bonn when he learned about his mother's illness. Finally, near 1792 he took off for Vienna in search of a good work in the field of music.
In Vienna, Beethoven tried to learn new things and learned composition and counterpoint from well-known personalities from the world of music such as Haydn, Albrecht Berger, Salieri and Schenk. He even published some of his compositions. Beethoven was a wise person and had a good foresight; he had understood that in his run to achieve a good position, all that he needed was good relations with people who had power in their hands. Beethoven established his relations with high profile people in Vienna, which ensured him continual income for his lifetime. His relations helped him on such level that even that time (1809) Prince of Vienna, Prince Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz assured him a yearly income if he agreed to stay in Vienna for rest of his life.
During the period 1800 to 1813, Beethoven learned high classical style and even adopted it in his creations and performances he gave. With the new style that he had learned, he wrote some new symphonies, some new concerts, quartets etc. Beethoven gained popularity very fast during the middle period of his life. It was a time when Beethoven wanted to concentrate on his work and continue with new compositions, but at the same time he suffered from hearing problem, which worsened gradually.
The problem with hearing that he suffered was reflected in the compositions he created and even his social life was getting affected because of it. It became very hard for Beethoven to attend any public event as his hearing problem created lot of tension for him and at times the situation led in broken relationships with others. The other problem Beethoven faced in his life was his relations with women. It was always a tension filled situation for him to face a woman; probably because he hesitated to express himself or may be because no woman could ever understand him. This resulted in the fact that he could never fulfill his dream of getting married to a beautiful woman, as the woman he loved was either from a high profile family who loved someone else or he loved a married woman.
At the time when everything had almost finished for Beethoven, he came up with a determination that helped him mark his re-entry in the world of music. He wrote many symphonies (Erotica Symphony No. 3 which he dedicated to Napoleon, symphony no. 5, 6, 7 and 8), piano and violin concerts, various tones, compositions for orchestras, few operas, number very famous sonatas, three and six string quartets etc. Beethoven's musical work during this period is the most ultimate and a state of art performance he ever gave. Beethoven had proved himself to be the greatest musician of his time. He was successful in gaining popularity as a public figure and was respected for his work in the field of music.
After few years, Ludwig van Beethoven was in situation where he became almost deaf and could hear nothing. It was a dead end for the musical genius and it became nearly impossible for him to perform. Beethoven stopped creating new composition and was very much frustrated (He even wrote letters to his brothers telling them how he felt like it was an end of his life and what he wished to do). During this period when Beethoven had almost stopped working on music creation, his earlier compositions, and symphonies ensured funds for him. But it could hardly suffice for longer period and he suffered economical problems.
His health went on deteriorating and he had not enough funds left to take care of himself. Finally, on 26 March 1827, the great musical genius left this world forever.
By Nilesh Parekh