Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

How to say the name:

‘Beethoven’ is said like Bay-toe-van. ‘Ludwig’ is said like ‘Lood-vig’ (and ‘van’ is easy to say!).

Born:

In Bonn, Germany, probably on 16th December 1770 (he was baptised on the 17th).

Beethoven’s grave in Vienna

Died:

26th March 1827 in Vienna, Austria.

Buried:

Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) in Vienna.

Type of Music:

Classical music from the end of the classical period, to the beginning of the romantic period.

Some famous pieces:
  • Für Elise (a popular piano piece to learn).
  • ‘Moonlight’ Sonata (for the piano).
  • Symphony No. 5. (See below for a video.)
  • ‘Ode to Joy’ from Symphony No. 9. (See The Great Composers page for a video.)
Some (very!) great pieces:
  • Symphonies Nos. 3–9. (See below for videos of No. 3 and No. 5. See also The Great Composers page for a video of No. 9.)
  • Late String Quartets (Op. 127, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135). (See below for a video example.)
  • Piano Concerto No. 5
  • Plus many, many more great pieces!!
Some interesting facts:
  • He was one of the greatest composers of classical music ever!
  • In later life he became totally deaf (so he couldn’t even hear his own music :cry:)!!
  • When he was little, his father forced him to practice the keyboard for hours and hours. His father wanted Beethoven to be like Mozart.
  • He demanded that people listen to his music and would stop playing if people started talking.
  • He was often quite grumpy and scruffy!
  • His music was so original that he started a whole new type of music (called romantic).
  • The first piece of music of this new type was the Symphony No. 3 (see below for a video). It was so different from anything before that the first audience was shocked!
  • His symphonies are so great that later composers were nervous about composing their own symphonies.
  • His late string quartets are very deep, serious and personal. They are the last major pieces completed by Beethoven. They also started a tradition with other composers of writing their most serious music for string quartets.

Here is a video of the beginning of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 with its famous ‘da-da-da-daaa’ sound.

First movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

And here is a video of the beginning of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (the Eroica Symhphony). Many people say this was the first piece of romantic music.

The first part of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3

Finally, here is a video of Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue (Great Fugue). This is one of the Late String Quartets. This is very serious music. It is music to think about.

The beginning of Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue Op. 133.

There are other videos of music by Beethoven on the following pages:

as well as the following news page:

There is also another picture of Beethoven on the following page:

Picture credits:
  1. Ludwig van Beethoven. This is a painting by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller from 1823. The image is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
  2. Beethoven’s grave. This photo was taken by Heinz Albers, www.heinzalbers.org, in 2004. The image may be used freely providing one credits the photographer. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. Beethoven 5 First Movement. Achim Holub conducts a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 with Kammerphilharmonie Graz, an orchestra specialized in historically informed performances of 18th and 19th century music (with natural horns and trumpets).
  2. Volker Hartung conducts Beethoven Symphony No.3 Eroica 1. Allegro con brio – Part 1. The ‘Eroica-Symphony’ is performed by the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Orchestra conducted by Volker Hartung. Live from Lee Foundation Hall in Singapore
    more at: www.volkerhartung.com.
  3. QUARTET CASALS. Beethoven op.133. 6-Grosse Fuge (1st part). QUARTET CASALS in Malaga playing Beethoven op.133. 6-Grosse Fuge.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 megha 19th December 2012

thanks, best music info website eva!!
😉

2 megha 15th January 2013

good job……again! i think u did wonderful

3 bob 15th January 2013

i needed this info for a project thanks

4 jayden 17th January 2013

i want to say love your music i have seen all of your movies love them love you i am so sorry for your loss

thank you for the music!!!!!!!

5 Susan 28th February 2013

thank you

6 alayna b 11th March 2013

Thanks. Really helpful data

7 Monica 11th March 2013

Thanks. Really great, and helpful info.

8 Catalina 11th March 2013

I found this really help full, Thank you:)

9 Catalina 11th March 2013

I found this really help full,and I your movies
Thank you:)

10 gracie 11th March 2013

thank you soo much i really liked this website

11 Callibird 12th March 2013

This has been good info, thanks! 🙂

12 ashlynn 12th March 2013

wow thanks thats soo helpful 🙂

13 Abby 12th March 2013

I really liked this website it was very helpful!(: I needed to use it and it was great!!(:

14 garry 8th April 2013

This is the website I’ve for because I need to write facts for my piano teacher

15 wahid 9th April 2013

i love your music always helps me relax

16 Jeremy 10th April 2013

Great website, very helpful

17 chlo 6th October 2013

not the best needs more info and pics

18 cc 30th October 2013

thanks for the music info for my music project!

19 chase 14th November 2013

yeah great info for my project

20 nicky johnson 28th February 2014

thanks for the information!!!!! 🙂

21 beck 23rd March 2014

thanx.. it was helpful 4 some last minute facts and other info

22 Klaudia 3rd September 2014

Köszi, az információt!! 🙂

23 Emma 18th September 2014

Awesome

24 Brittney 16th October 2014

Beethoven is a musical genius and still inspires many productions today. Thanks for sharing.

25 Colter 24th October 2014

I love this website so much thank you

26 Daneia 4th November 2014

This is amazing and it really helps

27 Jack shellby 25th January 2015

Good website helped me

28 Beatrice 12th February 2015

So helpful. This information will help with my homework so much. Thank You : )

29 Jelena 14th April 2015

So much helpful and good.Thanks!

30 Emerson Tully 29th July 2015

i love Beethoven. He is so amazing

31 Kierstin 30th October 2015

Thank u Beethoven that was very helpful for me to use!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

32 Sam 12th January 2016

Thank u so much 🙂 I needed this information so badly!

33 jeff 31st January 2016

fantastic

34 Wafaa 6th March 2016

i need this for a book thanks!!:D

35 Andrew 13th March 2016

it was a great source of information for my report.

36 KC 24th March 2016

Amazing!really inspired me to play music some day.I hope I can play an instrument some day.😄

37 Tammy 14th April 2016

This the best website ever

38 Mrs. Koch 19th April 2016

It was very good information.The children in all my classes enjoy this website.

39 Savannah 17th May 2016

This website was very helpful 🙂

40 Matthew 22nd September 2016

This is a great website😀

41 Hannah 9th December 2016

he was a great composer

42 Hannah Houston 11th January 2017

I really love his music. Do you know if he was ever married? I am doing a report on him and I that is one of the things I need to know.

43 Hannah Houston 11th January 2017

He is my favorite composer. So is Bach and Mozart.

44 Malcolm Pullan 12th January 2017

Thank you for your question Hannah. No, Beethoven never married. He did fall in love with someone and wanted to marry her, but she came from a noble family and Beethoven did not. A marriage between them would have been very difficult back then.

45 Jack 25th January 2017

Best Composer ever!!!

46 Sofia G-S 3A Turramurra 2nd April 2017

I absolutely love your symphonies and I respect you about your loss . You are a very clever man Beethoven.

47 tina 4th April 2017

I love your music thank you!☺

48 tina 4th April 2017

thank you again for your music is help me relax

49 rose 17th May 2017

this was great. Thank you for you information love them

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