Born nearly 250 years ago, Ludwig van Beethoven remains one of the most prolific and world known musicians of all times. He is considered as one of the transition composers between the Classic and the Romantic ages of music. His symphonies and concerts are still highly appreciated and only the best musicians get to play his masterpieces.
And, while almost every human is acquainted with some of Beethoven’s work, his private life outside music remains little known for the most of us. There are many interesting facts about Beethoven’s life that yet remain unknown or of little public interest for the vast majority of people.
However, some of these facts about Beethoven’s life are worth mentioning and, if you too are passionate about music and musicians, you will certainly find the following interesting.
There are still some historians who claim that Beethoven’s real birthday is not the one stated in all music books, meaning December 16th, 1770. What is known is the fact that Beethoven the child was baptized on December 17th, 1770, and at that time, it was a custom to baptize your child one day after its birth.
Also related to his real birthday, for many years the child has believed that he was younger than he was in fact. It is speculated that the deception was, in fact, his father’s work, who wanted to brag about Beethoven’s musical talents and make him seem even more advanced in music skills than he already was. Thus, his father claimed for a long time that Beethoven was, in fact, born in 1772.
His relationship with his father
Beethoven comes from a mediocre family, being born in Bonn, Germany, as the son of Magdalena Keverich van Beethoven and Johann van Beethoven. His father was a failed court singer and a known alcoholic.
After his father realized Beethoven’s musical potential, he forced him to practice for endless hours even when he was exhausted. Even though he was talented as a child, his father kept pushing his limits. At the age of 11, he was forced to drop out of school to provide for his family.
Later on, like his father, Beethoven began consuming large quantities of alcohol which may be one of the causes he died at a rather early age.
The student of Mozart and Haydn
Ever since his earliest stages in life, Beethoven was considered a wunderkind, similar to Mozart. However, what many people don’t know is that Beethoven was actually sent to Vienna in 1787, at the age of 17, to meet the great composer. He was trained by Mozart for a short while because he had to return to Bonn once his mother got sick.
Five years later, in 1792, Beethoven embarks on a second trip to Vienna, and this time takes lessons from another great composer and music genius, Joseph Haydn.