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Word Count: 478
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer who is considered to be one of the greatest musicians of all time He was born in Bonn Beethovens fathers harsh discipline and alcoholism made his childhood and adolescence difficult After his mothers death at the age of 18 he placed himself at the head of the family taking responsibility for his two younger brothers both of whom followed him when he later moved to Vienna Austria In Bonn Beethovens most important composition teacher was German composer Christian Gottlob Neefe with whom he studied during the 1780s Neefe mostly used the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach in his instruction He later encouraged his student to study with Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart whom Beethoven met briefly in Vienna in 1787 In 1792 Beethoven made another journey to Vienna to study with Austrian composer Joseph Haydn and he stayed there the rest of his life Having begun his career as an outstanding improviser at the piano and composer of piano music Beethoven went on to compose string quartets and other kinds of chamber music songs two masses an opera and nine symphonies Perhaps the most famous work of classical music in existence is Beethovens Symphony No9 in D minor op 125 Like his opera Fidelio and many other works the Ninth Symphony depicts an initial struggle with adversity and concludes with an uplifting vision of freedom and social harmony Yet just as his success seemed assured he was confronted with the loss of that sense which he depended on his hearing This impairment gradually put an end to his performing career However Beethovens achievements did not suffer from his hearing loss but instead gained in richness and power over the years His artistic growth was reflected in a series of masterpieces including the Symphony No3 Fidelio and the Symphony No5 These works were from his second period which is called his heroic styleBeethovens fame during his lifetime
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