On a visit to Germany, a colleague asked me if I would like to visit the family home of Beethoven. He knew of my interest in amazing people and suggested that we go to the city of Bonn. Although the city was heavily bombed during the 2nd World War, the house where the music maestro was born still stands. It is now a museum and reflects the great works of the composer. To mark the visit, I bought a beautiful book on Beethoven’s career.
Beethoven was born in 1770 and my visit coincided with the 240th anniversary of his birth. His grandfather was a Flemish composer, so it is probable that he inherited a good part of his music aptitude. His father soon tested him, as he also a had musical talent. It became clear early on that Ludvig was exceptionally gifted, but he also had to train hard under his father’s direction.
When he was 17, Ludvig travelled to Vienna. It was the first of a number of visits, during which he received acclaim for his talent as a piano virtuoso. But, it was through composition that he made his name. However, deafness came upon him in 1796 and eventually he could not hear his compositions being played. Despite being successful as a composer, it is likely that Beethoven had a difficult life. He died in 1827 at the age of 57.
Although he had a number of relationships, Beethoven did not marry. His life was increasingly one of isolation. Although deaf, he was surrounded by beautiful music in his head that he converted to manuscript. He was an amazing musician. Therefore, if you are on a visit near Bonn, go along to the Bonngasse and you can visit his birthplace.
What is your favourite piece of music by Beethoven? Mine is Monnlight Sonata.
Beethoven is another of the amazing people that I have included in the Amazing People Club and the story of his life will be available on audio from May 2010 via http://www.amazingpeopleclub.com/
Thanks to Google images for use of the photo.