Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most influential and most famous music composers of all time. Even if you can’t name any of his works or haven’t even heard of him, you will have heard some of his compositions throughout your life. Here are 12 interesting facts about Beethoven
- Excluding him, there were two other Ludwig van Beethoven in his family. The great composer’s grandfather was the first Ludwig Van Beethoven, and the second Ludwig Van Beethoven was his older brother who passed away at birth.
- Franz Joseph Haydn, often called the father of the symphony and the teacher of Mozart, taught Beethoven when he was in his early 20s (after he moved to Vienna). Beethoven dedicated his Piano Sonatas, Op. 2 to Haydn.
- It’s said that Beethoven tried to meet Mozart when he visited Vienna, but there’s no document to say they have actually met.
- When he was just 26 years old, Beethoven started to lose his hearing. He was completely deaf during his last decade of life. Although there are many theories circulating as to why Beethoven lost his hearing, no one knows the exact cause. It is believed that diseases such as typhus and smallpox are likely causes.
- Beethoven died during a thunderstorm at the age of 56 after a long illness in 1827. No one knows the exact final words of Beethoven, but different versions are recorded including “Applaud, my friends, the comedy is over” and “I shall hear in heaven”, a reference to his deafness.
- Beethoven was not lucky with love, as he fell madly in love twice. First was with a young countess called Julie, but he could not marry her due to him being a commoner. The infamous Moonlight Sonata was dedicated to her. He fell in love with Josephine Brunswick, but her parents pressured her to terminate the relationship.
- Beethoven had a slight alcohol problem, as his autopsy revealed that he had a shrunken liver due to cirrhosis.
- Beethoven is known for having a short temper.
- No one knows the exact birth date of Beethoven.
- Beethoven published his first work when he was just 12.
- Beethoven was notorious for his improvising skills before he lost his hearing. However, despite losing his earing, he still retained perfect pitch and continued to compose.
- Rumours have it that Beethoven would often dip his head in cold water before composing. However, no one knows why this is.
Do you know any weird, fun or interesting facts about Ludwig van Beethoven that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!
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