Now one of the most famous composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven's early life was fraught with hardships. His father was an an alcoholic and ruthless disciplinarian, and when his mother died, Beethoven, 18, took ownership of his younger brothers and started a new life in Vienna. Beethoven crafted a life filled with music. During his career, he suffered from hearing loss and depression, but continued composing symphonies and movements that would later be recreated in concert halls around the world.
But was Beethoven really the child prodigy he's believed to be? Research suggests his birthday might not be as accurate as some records show. One theory is his father kept the date ambiguous in a deliberate effort to make Beethoven appear younger and more skilled. Learn more about the composer's life and legacy in the videos below.
A Mini Biography of Ludwig van Beethoven
Learn about his life and legacy.
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We May Have Discovered Why Beethoven Was Deaf
A recent analysis found high levels of lead in his hair.