ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Beethoven Biography

Updated on January 20, 2012

This Hub takes a look at the life of one of the greatest classical composers: Ludwig van Beethoven. This will be illustrated by a selection of YouTube clips where brilliant artists perform his works. This is the story of a man with an incredible fighting spirit. Let both his example and his music inspire you!

Beethoven and his parents

When Ludwig van Beethoven, who lived from 1770 to 1827, was 16 years old, his mother died. His dad drank to excess and Beethoven had to take care of two brothers who were younger than him. Beethoven had to ask his father's workplace to give him half of his dad's paycheck so his dad would not spend it all on alcohol.

1st Piano Concerto C major

Beethoven's manners

Beethoven was not a very polished young man. When he turned 22, he left his birthplace of Bonn to go to Vienna where he could learn from a master musician, Haydn. Even though he did not possess excellent manners, his talent in virtuoso improvisation on the piano gained him favor with the aristocracy and Archduke Rudolph went so far as to state that Beethoven did not have to abide by the typical court behavior.

Eroica Symphony, 4th movement

First success

In 1795, Beethoven experienced fame and fortune from his first opus, entitled Three Piano Trios. Beethoven was not used to such fame, and he was prone to suicidal thoughts and even thought about committing suicide but decided not to because of his love of music and playing piano. When he started to go deaf shortly following his early success, he started to withdraw from society even more. Even so, he continued to write music, and the pieces that he composed during the next 10 years have long been valued as some of the most inspiring works of art ever created.

When he first wrote the 3rd Symphony Eroica, Beethoven dedicated it to Napoleon, but this honor was later stripped away after Napoleon named himself the emperor. 

Beethoven "Moonlight" Sonata - Valentina Lisitsa

Personal tribulations

Beethoven never married and experienced quite a few relationships that did not work out. These failures most likely caused Beethoven to become even more depressed and led to a time when he did not write a lot of music. In 1812, he did compose a letter directed to his "Immortal Beloved", but no one knows for sure who it was.

Once he emerged from his depression, Beethoven's late period consisted of pieces that were closely linked to his personal tribulations throughout this time in his life. These tribulations included his battle to gain custody of a nephew named Karl after Beethoven's brother passed away without warning. Beethoven's music of this time featured large-scale forms and contrapuntal writing and expressed his feelings of freedom.

Violin Sonata No 10, 2nd movement

Later years

Even though Beethoven was completely deaf in his later years, he was still able to give several performances. During one such performance, he conducted the debut presentation of his Ninth Symphony. He started crying when he saw the audience cheering for him and his performance. On March 26, 1827, during a loud and strong rainstorm, Beethoven passed away. It has been said that even as he died, he was shaking his fists at the heavens.

Your comments

What do Beethoven mean to you? Please stay a moment and share your thoughts on this great personality and his immortal masterworks. What are your favorite works or movements by Beethoven? Do you prefer the symphonies, piano sonatas, string quartets...? Did Beethoven ever write a bad piece of music in your opinion and in that case which one!? Looking forward to hear from our readers!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image


      7 years ago

      Beethoven was so talented. I never knew that he was completely deaf when he got older. The story you shared of him being brought to tears after he played and the crowd was cheering gave me chills. How amazing he must have been to be able to play and write songs while his hearing was bad. Great Hub!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Beethoven was genius. The fact that he could compose one of the greatest symphonies of all time while deaf is too remarkable for words. The first piece I ever taught myself to play on the piano was “Fur Elise” because it was so beautiful. I have played ever since. So, in a way, he was my inspiration.

      Thank you for this wonderful hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)