Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-1827

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. His father, who was a singer, was his first teacher. After a while, even though he was still only a boy, Ludwig became a traveling performer, and soon he was supporting his family.

In his early twenties Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he spent the rest of his life. Beethoven was one of the first composers to make a living without being employed by the church or a member of the nobility. At first, he was known as a brilliant pianist, but when he was around 30 years old Beethoven began going deaf. Even though he could no longer hear well enough to play the piano, Beethoven composed some of his best music after he lost his hearing!

Beethoven is considered one of the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived. He may be most famous for his nine symphonies, but he also wrote many other kinds of music: chamber and choral pieces, piano works, string quartets, and an opera.

Listen to the second movement of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, then answer the questions on your worksheet.

* With your parents' supervision, you may also check out www.classicsforkids.com for more information and games about Beethoven and many more famous Classical composers.

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