• Kacey Link

Fun Facts: Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) celebrated his 250th birthday last December. I did a variety of fun trivia games with local performing arts organizations and my students. Here are just a couple of fun facts from those virtual events!

1. Beethoven studied with Franz Joseph Haydn.

When Beethoven moved to Vienna in his 20s, he started taking lessons with Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809). He even dedicated his first three piano sonatas of Op. 2 to the great master!

2. Beethoven originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Beethoven was a huge admirer of Napoleon and originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major, Op. 55 after the French leader. However, just before publication, Beethoven rededicated his symphony to Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz and called the symphony"Eroica" due to his disdain for Napoleon declaring himself the Emperor of France in 1804.

3. Beethoven's favorite activity for inspiration was walking in the countryside.

Beethoven loved walks in nature and this passion even gave birth to Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68, "Pastoral."

4. Beethoven's favorite food is mac and cheese.

Rumor has it that Beethoven's favorite dish was the Viennese version of mac and cheese, called Kaesespaetzle. Yum!

5. Beethoven's hearing started to fail at age 28.

Beethoven started to lose his hearing at a very early age, and by the end of his life, he was completely deaf. Scholars have different theories as to why he lost his hearing, some say it was an early childhood disease such as typhoid.

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