Word Count: 612
MUS 154-Spring 2011
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. The Beethoven family served the archbishop-elector of Bonn as a court musician. Beethoven’s father was said to have been an alcoholic who beat Beethoven to make him practice. Although Beethoven suffered the abuse of his father he showed signs of promise at a young age. At the age of seven, because of his progress in musical training, Beethoven was advanced enough to appear in public. However, in 1787 Beethoven took a trip to Vienna in hopes to get a chance to study with Mozart. Sadly Beethoven’s trip was cut short due to the death of his mother in the summer of 1787. This caused him to return to Bonn to help take care of his family. At the young age of nineteen, he petitioned for half his father’s salary to support his brothers. Over the next four years in Boon, Beethoven played in the orchestra of the court chapel and the theatre alongside musicians Franz Ries and Andreas Romberg, Bernhard Romberg, Nikolaus Simrock and Antoine Reiche. Some of these musicians Beethoven remained friends with for most of his life. During these years, he started to become an active composer and producing. The most impressive composition of these years was the cantata on the death of Emperor Joseph II. Beethoven’s later works, the Ninth Symphony, can be traced to this period of his life that he spent at the enlightened court of Bonn. (Kerman 227-238)
In 1792, on Haydn’s journey back to Vienna, Beethoven showed Haydn the cantata. In November of 1792, Beethoven, not quite 22 years of age, left Bonn to live in Vienna to become Haydn’s pupil. Here, in Vienna, Beethoven would remain the rest of his life not even for his father’s death in December of 1972. In 1794, Haydn left for England passing Beethoven on to another tutor, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger. However, Beethoven’s first task was to...