Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, Atlantic Classical Orchestra

Born December 1770; Bonn, Germany
Died March 26, 1827; Vienna, Austria
Coriolan Overture & Symphony No. 3


1807; 37 years old

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), a German composer and pianist, holds an enduring legacy as one of the most revered figures in Western classical music. Born in Bonn, Beethoven exhibited exceptional musical talent early on, enduring intense tutelage from his father and later studying under Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21, he moved to Vienna, a pivotal city where he studied composition with Joseph Haydn and established himself as a virtuoso pianist.

Beethoven’s career is traditionally divided into three periods: the early (until 1802), middle (1802–1812), and late (1812–1827). During his middle period, despite grappling with increasing deafness, he demonstrated individuality in composition, earning a reputation as a groundbreaking force. His late period saw further innovations, with remarkable contributions such as the Ninth Symphony, a groundbreaking choral symphony. Despite personal struggles, including declining health and unfulfilled personal relationships, Beethoven continued to produce masterpieces, including the “Missa solemnis” and profound late string quartets. His impact on music, spanning the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era, endures through iconic works like the Fifth Symphony, “Moonlight Sonata,” and the revolutionary Ninth Symphony, showcasing his unparalleled influence on the classical repertoire. Beethoven’s enduring legacy is marked not only by his technical brilliance but also by the emotional depth and profound expression that resonate across centuries.