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Ludwig van Beethoven

 Ludwig van Beethoven was the grandson of a Flemish organ musician named Lodewijk van Beethoven (Ludwig is the German translation of Lodewijk, Lodewijk is Dutch). Lodewijk had only one son, Johann was his name, Johann gave piano and violin lessons to supply income. He married a woman named Maria Magdalena Keverich in 1767. Ludwig was born a small time after that marriage in Bonn, Germany.  There is no record of his date of birth, but his baptism was on December 17th, 1770.  The children of this time were traditionally baptised the day after birth, so it is believed he was born on December 16th, 1770.

First Teacher

Beethoven’s first teacher was his father.  His father was a harsh teacher, it was said” young Beethoven would stand by the key-board, often in tears” most believe it was because his father was a drunk.  (The Grove Dictionary of music and musicians say there is no solid fact to support this theory.)  Beethoven had other teachers as well, for example: The court organist Gilles van den Eeden, Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer (family friend) and Franz Rovantini (relative).  His musical talent was obvious at a very young age. Johann (father) was aware of this, he tried to exploit Ludwig as a child prodigy.  He claimed Beethoven was six, when he was really seven on the Posters for his first public performance in March 1778.

Some Studies

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