His father was a singer in a court chapel. Beethoven followed in his fathers footsteps and became a court musician as well, because of his fathers mental absence. His father was an alcoholic, so Beethoven needed to somehow support himself and the rest of his family. Under the tutelage of German composer, Christian Gottlobe Neefe , his early compositions signal an important talent. It was planned for Beethoven to study in Vienna with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart died in 1791, preventing Beethoven to ever join him.
Beethoven ended up going to Vienna in 1792, and became one of Joseph Haydens, an Austrian composer, pupils. Beethovens piano improvisations dazzled aristocracy in Vienna. He entered into favorable arrangements with Viennese music publishers. Beethoven succeeded as a free lance composers due to the broadening of published music. Mozart took the same path, except for he found it full of frustration. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, Beethoven loosely constructed a style of works such as the Septet Opera 20.
Beethoven claimed that he had never learned anything from Hayden. He then revealed this complete assimilation of the Viennese classical style in every major instrumental genre: symphony, concerto, string quartet, and sonata. 1798 led to an increase of social isolation, due to Beethovens hearing impairment. His hearing began to deteriorate until eventually he became totally deaf. He went into a period of despair and even considered suicide, but then found the strength to devote his life to the music, which he could know only feel within himself. He reached his peak during these years.
He gradually settled into patterns of shifting residences, spending a few summers in the Viennese suburbs. During these times of relocation, Beethoven found himself to be falling in love, in love with the wrong women. He tended to fall for the unattainable women, either they were aristocratic or married or both. These women inspired him to write many pieces, yet it is still unknown who these works were written for. In 1815, Beethovens brother, Casper Carl, had died. Beethoven devoted himself to a costly legal struggle with his sister-in-law for custody of her nine year old son, and Beethovens nephew.
Beethoven won custody of his nephew, after a lengthy hearing. Yet this whole arrangement did not work out for either Beethoven or his Nephew, Karl. In the years these two spent together, they were engaged in many fights and disagreements. This contributed to Karls attempted suicide in 1826.
Beethoven relied on small “conversation books” due to him becoming virtually deaf in 1818. The conversation books contained visitor remarks so he could at least read them, since his hearing ceased to exist. He stayed with a steadily shrinking group of friends, and withdrew himself from all others. His music remained fashionable during these times, but only among a small group of educated people.
During Beethovens last illness, he received out pouring of sympathy from the surrounding communities. On March 26, 1827, Beethoven died in Vienna. Tens of thousands witnessed his funeral procession. In Beethovens 57 years of living, his major outputs consist of seven concertos, nine symphonies, seventeen string quartets, ten sonatas for violin and piano, thirty two piano sonatas, an opera, five sonatas for cello and piano, several overtures, two masses, and numerous sets of piano variations.
People considered Beethoven a bridge to Romanticism. After Beethoven arrived in Vienna, he alternated between compositions based openly on classical models, such as the String Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5. From 1802 to 1812 he projected