Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven.
Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler (1820).
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Happy 250th birthday Ludwig van Beethoven!

The year 2020 marks the celebration of the birth of one of the world’s greatest composers ever: happy 250th birthday Ludwig van Beethoven. This German composer was born in the year 1770.

In his time, Van Beethoven was a successful and famous person. At the age of 21, he moved to Vienna and was taught to become a composer by Joseph Haydn. His first masterpiece was Opus 1 (1795). Soon afterwards he started composing more work. This lead to Symphony No. 1 in 1880. The following year, his fame rose even higher with the introduction of The Creatures of Prometheus. Sadly, he would experience health issues that would influence his work. These health issues manifested in the loss of his hearing. After 1811 Van Beethoven was completely deaf. His appearances in public then stopped. He didn’t stop composing. That was something he simply could not let go off. It took him longer than normal. In 1824 the Missa Solemnis saw its premiere. It was followed by the famous Ninth Symphony. This was one of the first examples of a choral symphony.

After 1826, the composer was mostly bedridden for the remaining months of his life. On 26 March 1827, at the age of 56, this German composer died. It is believed that this happened during a thunderstorm. According to one of his friends, Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who was present when Van Beethoven passed away, there was a peal of thunder when the composer passed away. His body was subject of an autopsy. It showed intense damage to the liver. It’s likely that he was a heavy alcohol consumer. It was probably because of his loss of hearing and depression that followed.

On 29 March 1827, the composer was buried. About 20,000 people attended the funeral. A year later, when composer Franz Schubert died, he was laid to rest next to Van Beethoven at the Währing Cemetery in Vienna.


Although Van Beethoven moved to Austria and died there, he was in fact German. Born in 1770 in Bonn (Germany). It’s not really clear when he was born exactly. He was baptised on 17 December 1770.

Interested to read more about the compositions of Van Beethoven, then visit this Wiki-page for more information.

Wait, when?

Officially we should start celebration at the end of 2020. Based on when Van Beethoven was baptised, we should hold back for some time. But, the year 2020 is the Van Beethoven year. Because 1770 was his birth year. 


As you can see, this composer is still a great inspiration for people today.