Spotlight on Great Classical Composers: Beethoven

This week, we are rolling out our second post for Spotlight on Great Classical Composers ~! 

Spotlight on Great Classical Composers focuses on sharing about some of the greatest classical music composers, so we can all hear of their life journeys beyond their works. 

Our first blog post in this Series was on Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750), a German composer and musician of the Baroque period.  This week, we are focusing on Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827), a German composer and pianist, who remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western classical music.

Beethoven started studying music at the age of 4, and by the age of 12, he was already playing some of the most difficult music available on the keyboard, like Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier

Beethoven was acting as deputy for the court organist in Bonn when his talents were recognised by the Elector of Bonn, who decided to support him with a scholarship, so that he could study with Mozart in Vienna.  However, this trip was greatly shortened when Beethoven’s mother fell ill.  He hurried back to Bonn immediately, arriving shortly before she passed away.

Deeply affected by his mother’s passing, Beethoven did not compose much for the next 3 years.  However, 5 years later, he received another opportunity to move to Vienna, this time to study with Haydn.  And this move saw Beethoven welcomed warmly into the Viennese aristocratic circles.  

One of the largest projects Beethoven embarked on whilst living in Vienna was his first set of string quartets – at the age of 28.  This was also when he started to notice his hearing was deteriorating.  Despite multiple quiet visits to the doctors, he could find no significant improvement to his condition, even with the various treatments availed to him.  And in 1802, Beethoven decided to retreat for 6 months to Heiligenstadt, a quiet town north of Vienna, in hopes that some time away would help his hearing recover.

Devastated at the lack of results after 6 months, Beethoven penned a document that is now famously known as the ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’.  In this letter, he grieved over his condition, left some last words and also made notes on whom he would leave possessions to.  A turning point from hereon was only achieved through Beethoven’s conviction that his days could not cease until all the music within him would be created.  

And over the next 10 years, Beethoven triumphed over his condition with an outpouring of works including his 3rd Symphony, 5th Symphony, ‘Waldstein’ and ‘Appassionata’ Sonatas and the ‘Razumovsky’ Quartets

Beethoven eventually passed on March 26, 1827, at the age of 56.  And till date, he remains one of the greatest composers of all time – achieving extraordinary works even with deafness as a condition dealt to him.

A great source of inspiration for many, join The Glasshouse with your children for even more snippets about Beethoven ~ and be greeted by easy-to-follow stories, brought to life with illustrations and animations, like the ones above !  

August 2020 collections for #origins, dedicated to children ages 0 to 6 and 6 to 12 ~ are now available (!) in our creative virtual sphere, The Glasshouse !

The Glasshouse #origins is definitely one of the best ways to introduce the great classical composers to your children.  The Glasshouse #origins offers young buds and new sprouts quality sustained exposure to classical music ~ through unique monthly collections of Storyboards, Activities and Canvases.  Join us in The Glasshouse for exciting journeys of growth !

Stay tuned for more of Spotlight on Great Classical Composers in the coming months ~!