Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany. He was a German composer and pianist. He was the eldest of three boys who survived infancy. His father, Johann van Beethoven, was a musician and became Beethoven’s first music teacher.
Ludwig started learning violin and piano at a very early age. He was only thirteen when his first composition was published. His most important teacher, Christian Gottlob Neefe, helped him to write it. After that Beethoven began working with Neefe as assistant organist. In 1787 he travelled to Vienna to study under Mozart, but the details of their relationship are unknown.
After two months he returned to Bonn because his mother was dying. His mother died soon and his father lapsed into alcoholism. As a result, Beethoven spent the next five years in Bonn looking after his two younger brothers. In 1792 Beethoven left Bonn for Vienna and knew shortly after his arrival that his father had died. He never returned to his hometown. By 1793, he had established a reputation as a piano virtuoso and in 1795 he gave his first public performance as a pianist. It was a great success. In the late 1790s, by the age of 26, Beethoven began to lose his hearing and by 1819 he was completely deaf. In spite of the fact that a “ringing” in his ears made it hard for him to hear music during this period he wrote his most famous compositions like Moonlight (1801), Eroica (1804), Pastoral (1808) and Emperor (1809). In his later years, he was lonely and depressed and didn’t write much.
He fell in love several times but he never married. Beethoven died on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56 in Vienna. There are a lot of versions of his death: alcoholic cirrhosis, lead poisoning, syphilis, infectious hepatitis have all been proposed. More than twenty thousand people came to his funeral.
Beethoven was the first composer who used music to express deep feelings, emotions and ideas, such as his belief in heroism and freedom. He was a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music. His best compositions include 9 symphonies, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets and 5 concertos for piano. Even today he stays the greatest composer for many people.
The short dictionary
- to be born — родиться;
- composer — композитор;
- survive infancy — выжить в младенчестве;
- first music teacher — первый учитель музыки;
- start learning — начать учиться;
- at a very early age — в очень раннем возрасте;
- his first composition was published — его первая композиция была опубликована;
- important — важный;
- assistant organist —
- travel — путешествовать;
- study under Mozart — учиться у Моцарта;
- relationship — отношения;
- return — возвратиться;
- lapse into alcoholism — впасть в алкоголизм;
- look after — заботиться;
- arrival — прибытие;
- establish a reputation — создать репутацию;
- public perfomance — публичное выступление;
- to lose hearing — терять слух;
- deaf — глухой;
- hard — трудно, тяжело;
- during this period — в течении этого периода;
- lonely — одинокий;
- fall in love — влюбиться;
- several times — несколько раз;
- marry — жениться (выйти замуж);
- alcoholic cirrhosis — алкогольный цирроз;
- lead poisoning — отравление свинцом;
- syphilis — сифилис;
- infectious hepatitis — инфекционный гепатит;
- propose — предлагать;
- funeral — похороны;
- deep feelings — глубокие чувства;
- emotions — эмоции;
- ideas — идеи;
- freedom — свобода;
- heroism — героизм.