|Ludwig Van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was, and remains today, an Olympian
figure in the history of classical music. His influence on the
last 150 years of music is unequalled; while generaly a
member of the Classicist fold, he was in fact the first
Romantic, and pre-figured virtually all music that followed the
Romantic era as well. Perhaps no other composer in history
wrote music of such exhilarating power and expressiveness;
certainly no other composer did so against greater odds.
Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770. His father, a music
enthusiast, dreamed of molding his son into the next Mozart.
Beethoven never exhibited the astonishing prodigy
characteristics of his predecessor, but he was unusually
talented, learning the piano, organ and violin at an early age.
At 14, he was already proficient enough on the organ to
receive a professional appointment. His family life was
chaotic; his father was an alcoholic, and his mother died
suddenly when he was only 17. ...