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He was born in the German town of Bonn on the 16th of December 1770. His grandfather Ludwig and his father Johann were both musicians. Johann was to act as little Ludwig's first music teacher, but Ludwig soon changed to the court organist C. G. Neefe. Passing eleven years of age, Ludwig deputized for Neefe, and at twelve had his first music published. He then stayed as Neefe's assistant until 1787, when at seventeen, he took off for Vienna. Even though Vienna was to be his home for the rest of his life, this first visit was short. On hearing that his mother was dying, he quickly returned to Bonn. Five years later he finally moved to Vienna to live and work.After arriving in 1792 he studied composition and counterpoint under Haydn, Schenk, Salieri and Albrechtsberger. At the same time, he tried to establish himself as pianist and composer. His good relations with the towns aristocracy soon led to a secured income. In 1809, with the sole condition that he stayed in Vienna, Prince Kinsky, Prince Lobkowitz and Archduke Rudolp even guaranteed Beethoven a yearly income. But going back to the years around 1800, which is traditionally called the early period, he was still trying to master the high classical style. This strive culminated in the second symphony from 1801-1802.This is also the time when the middle period starts. From now up until 1813, Beethoven develops and enhances the high classical style into a more dynamic and individualistic style. It is now that he writes symphonies Nr. 3 - 8, piano consert Nr. 5 and a lot of chamber music. But as he learns to control his craft and develop the music into new undiscovered grounds, he also suffers from reminders of the pains of real life. He has early in life discovered that his hearing wasn't what it should be, and the disorder gets worse as time goes by. It gets to the point where Beethoven is thinking of ending his life as he sees no way out of his despair. That fact is documented in the...

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