Composer of 9 syphonies, 23 piano sonatas and numerous other woks, is aknowledged by many as one of the greatest classical composers the world has ever seen.
He began to lose his hearing in 1801, and pursued a rather erratic form of behavior. His opera, Fidelio, completely flopped and Beethoven had to revise it several times. He also became depressed because of his failure in his desire to become married. However, it was during this time he wrote "Symphony no.9", (while completely deaf) which is now reconized by many as the finest Symphony ever composed.
Other famous works include:
Sonata Pathetique Op. 13
Sonata quasi una Fantasia, Op. 27
He is amongst the "Big Four" of the classical composing community, with Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.
Possibly the most revolutionary and effective composer of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven wrote 9 symphonies with sketches for a tenth, 5 piano concerti, a violin concerto, 32 sonatas (not 23 like it says up there), 16 string quartets, and other various works: in all, over 130 number opera (plural of opus) and numerous other works labeled 'work without opus'. His five piano concerti have sold more copies than almost any other classical record. Beethoven was composer in both the classical and romantic periods. His third symphony in Eb major, "eroica," is said to be the beginning of the romantic period.
Near his last 20 years of life, he finally accepted he was going deaf and went into a state of severe depression, during which he composed very little, but what he did compose, including the famous "chorale" symphony in Dm (no. 9), was great. Unfortunately, his opera, Fidelio, failed horribly because of Beethoven's diminishing hearing.
The greatest mistake of Beethoven's career was Work Without Opus No. 59: Bagatelle in A minor (Für Elise for you non-musicologists). This piece, besides mozart's K 545, is the most-spammed piece by pianists in the history of the world. In fact, it pisses them off, so just don't play it!
Famous Pieces by Beethoven include:
Symphony No. 3 in Eb major "eroica"
Symphony No. 5 in Cm
Symphony No. 6 in F major "pastorale"
Symphony No. 9 in Dm "chorale"
Piano Concerto No. 5 in Eb major "emperor"
Piano Sonata No. 8 in Cm "pathetique"
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#m "moonlight" (quasi un fantasia)
Piano Sonata No. 29 in Bb major "hammerklavier"
33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli
WoO 59 in Am "Für Elise"
(10 minutes later)
Music store customer #2: I'll have a copy of Für Elise.
(30 minutes later)
Music store customer #3: I'll have a copy of Für Elise.
Actually talented pianist: OMG why did beethoven even write that?
This is tottally untrue. Beethoven died when he was 57, so he never was 70. The girl wasn't called Elise either. There was some dispute as to who she was, but there was no Elise. One theory is that 'Elise' is a slang word used to discribe pretty girls in Vienna. Another is that Beethoven actually wrote 'Therese' on the Manuscript and has very bad handwriting. There was never any Elise.
b) Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique Opus 13 is freakin' rediculous!