My first experience with Beethoven was before I started school, before I started piano lessons, I would pick out by ear on the piano the first few notes of "Fur Elise." I did not know the name Beethoven, I only knew what I had heard someone else play, and I played by ear the notes on the piano. My Mother promptly enrolled me in piano lessons. At age ten I learned to play the piece on the piano that I had tried a few years before to emulate, I still have the music book, at the bottom of the page my teacher wrote, "Splendid! Good rhythm, excellent tone, very good dynamics!" Every Wednesday for eleven years I walked to my piano teachers house for a thirty minute lesson, focusing mainly on classical music, and on composition, and theory. My teacher was strict with having curved fingers, lowered wrist, no long fingernails clicking on the keys. She was a strict, disciplined woman, that had devoted her life to teaching the piano, piano was her passion. I still play the piano, but not as often as I should. The piano calls out to me sometimes, calling me to come and touch its ivory and black keys, to fill the air with music. Music is a passion that once kindled never leaves your soul.
"Beethoven His Life and Work and World" by H.C. Robbins Landon
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born on probably the 16 December 1770, and baptized on the following day. Ludwig's father was a tenor in court Kapelle, and his father gave lessons on piano and singing to the sons and daughters of nobility. Beethoven was studying piano, organ, violin, and viola, by 1778. At age eleven he was compared to Motzart. He visited Motzart when he was a boy and played for him, Motzart made a comment to "watch out for him, he will have something to tell you." Beethoven first public appearance was in March of 1778. His first orchestral performance was in Vienna in 1795, "Twelve Minutes and Twelve Dances" for the annual masked ball. He had dark bushy hair, pock marked face, acted haughty, strong dialect, common, not cultivated. He fell in and out of love easily, never married. He started loosing his hearing in his twenties, and eventually became completely deaf. He died the 26 March 1827 of dropsy of the abdomen, he had been sick for four months.
The book was written completely from the memoirs of those who knew Beethoven personally. Several photos are in the book of him, as well as several photos of some of his compositions.
The photo that I have posted is I believe a very handsome picture of him.