Why Famous: Beethoven is widely regarded as the most important musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western music, and as one of the greatest classical composers to ever live.
First taught by his father from the age of 5, who sought to popularise his son as a child prodigy following Mozarts success, Beethoven did not attract attention until his adolescence.
His hearing began to deteriorate from his late twenties, and he experienced the last decade of his life in almost complete silence. After giving up public conducting and performing in 1811, he nevertheless continued to compose and produced some of the greatest masterpieces in his career.
- 1792-12-12 In Vienna, Ludwig van Beethoven (22) receives 1st lesson in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn
- 1795-03-29 Ludwig van Beethoven (24) has his debut performance as a pianist in Vienna
- 1800-04-02 1st performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's 1st Symphony in C
- 1803-04-05 1st performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's 2nd Symphony in D, conducted by the composer, in Vienna
- 1805-04-07 Premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Eroica", in Vienna, conducted by the composer
- 1805-11-20 Ludwig van Beethoven's "Fidelio", his only opera, premieres in Vienna
- 1807-03-05 1st performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's 4th Symphony in B
- 1808-12-22 Beethoven's Symphonies No. 5 and No. 6, Choral Fantasy and Piano Concerto No. 4 (featuring the composer as soloist) premiere at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria
- 1810-04-27 Ludwig van Beethoven composes his famous piano piece "Für Elise"
- 1813-12-08 Ludwig van Beethoven's 7th Symphony in A, premieres in Vienna with Beethoven conducting
- 1814-02-27 Ludwig van Beethoven's 8th Symphony in F premieres
- 1823-10-05 Carl Maria von Weber visits Ludwig van Beethoven
- 1824-03-24 1st performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" in St. Petersburg
- 1824-05-07 Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th (Choral) Symphony, often regarded as his greatest work, premieres in Vienna
- 1826-03-21 Beethoven's "String Quartet No. 13" in B flat major (Op 130) premieres in Vienna
- 1827-03-29 20,000 attend Ludwig von Beethovens burial in Vienna
- 1912-11-07 The Deutsche Opernhaus (now Deutsche Oper Berlin) opens in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg, with a production of Beethoven's Fidelio.
- 1934-09-17 RCA Victor releases 1st 33 1/3 rpm recording - Beethoven's Fifth Symphony performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Leopold Stokowski at the Philadelphia Academy of Music
- 1941-07-19 BBC World Service begins playing V(ictory) ("...-" in Morse code) (opening of Ludwig van Beethoven's 5th symphony)
- 1989-12-25 Leonard Bernstein conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in East Berlin's Schauspielhaus to celebrate fall of the Berlin Wall. Broadcast worldwide to audience of 100 million.