In 2020, the world marks the 250th birthday of one of classical music’s singular artists, Ludwig van Beethoven.
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German pianist and composer widely considered to be one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. His innovative compositions combined vocals and instruments, widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto and quartet. He is the crucial transitional figure connecting the Classical and Romantic ages of Western music. Beethoven’s personal life was marked by a struggle against deafness, and some of his most important works were composed during the last 10 years of his life, when he was quite unable to hear. He died at the age of 56.
Beethoven is widely considered one of the greatest, if not the single greatest, composer of all time. Beethoven’s body of musical compositions stands with William Shakespeare‘s plays at the outer limits of human brilliance.
The fact that Beethoven composed most of his most beautiful and extraordinary music while deaf is an almost superhuman feat of creative genius, perhaps only paralleled in the history of artistic achievement by John Milton writing Paradise Lost while blind.
Summing up his life and imminent death during his last days, Beethoven, who was never as eloquent with words as he was with music, borrowed a tagline that concluded many Latin plays at the time. Plaudite, amici, comoedia finita est, he said. “Applaud friends, the comedy is over.”
Information originally posted by Biography.com