Stephanie Young Ms. Kezama ELA A10 06 November 2017 Ludwig van Beethoven Greetings, I am Ludwig van Beethoven. I was born on December 16, 1770 in Bonn, Germany.
Throughout all of my life, musicians such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn have influenced me to become who I am today: a Great Composer. It was inspiration and dedication which lead me to earning this title. However, it was not exactly, as one would say, a walk in the park. I’ve faced challenges, such as the loss of my family and my hearing difficulty, which, arguably, is by far the most important sense a musician could possibly have.
On the contrary, I have stumbled across success, such as high demand and popularity finding its way towards my compositions. First, I have six siblings, but unfortunately not all of them are alive, and for most of them, when they were, it was not for long. My older brother, Ludwig, one of my younger brothers, Franz, and my two younger sisters, Anna and Maria, never lived beyond infancy. My other younger brothers, Nicholas and Kaspar, survived infancy, letting us grow up together. However, time has passed since we were children, which lead to Kaspar’s death in 1815.
As of now, Nicholas and I are the only ones left in the family. My mother, Maria Magdalena, passed away in 1787, then my father, Johann van Beethoven, passed away in 1792. Born with perfect hearing, my father had full intent to transform me into another Mozart. Starting me off on the clavier, then moving to piano afterwards, my father taught me how to read and play music.
However, although my own father taught me everything I know today about music, he was very strict. Whenever I hesitated while playing or made a mistake, he would yell at me, sometimes calling me an embarrassment to the family, and then beating me. I cannot complain, however, because it was his strictness that made me a piano virtuoso by the time I was only twelve-years-old. By the age of twenty-eight years old, my hearing had started to weaken, and by the age of forty-six, my hearing was completely diminished.
Knowing the life I live, my hearing impairment made me insecure and upset beyond belief. I had felt so degraded from society that I was contemplating life or death. But after all the hard work both my father and I had put into my musical abilities, I decided that I would not waste it and throw that all away. In order to continue with communicating with people, I created a “Conversation Book”. In it, hundreds of conversations between myself and others are recorded.
From the time my hearing began weakening, to now, as my hearing is completely diminished, I have composed some of my best compositions. These compositions include “Ode to Joy” and “Moonlight Sonata”. “Ode to Joy” is the final movement in the Ninth Symphony I composed, which includes both instrumental and vocal lines throughout the piece. After making some changes, the lyrics that create the vocal parts were chosen from a poem by Friedrich Schiller.
We performed the premier on May 7th, 1847 in the Theater am Kärntnertor, located in Vienna, Austria. Despite the fact that we only had two full rehearsals, the audience loved our performance, granting me great success from this piece. I dedicated “Moonlight Sonata” to a love of mine named Guiletta Guicciardi. Truly, I believe this piece is one of my weakest compositions. I remember speaking to a friend about this.
“Surely, I’ve written better things.” I told Carl Czerny. Why this piece gained such success is beyond me, but I am grateful for it. My hearing difficulty I encounter is something that would usually have a negative effect on other musicians. However, with my extreme devotion and passion for music, I have found a way to overcome adversity and strive. One thing that has been important to my growth as a person is my ability to believe in myself. My success was not handed to me.
Due to my deafness, I knew it would be difficult becoming a successful musician but despite how crucial the conditions were, I am now one of the most successful and influential musicians known to man. My challenge did not belittle me as a musician. Rather, it made me realize the strength my passion obtains, along with how I am willing to strive to become the best I can towards my musical abilities.
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