The Genius

It was a tough beginning for the young genius, whose father Johann was an extremely demanding – even abusive – teacher. But Ludwig still very much enjoyed playing the piano and began very early with his own improvisations.

In March 1778, at the age of seven, Beethoven performed in public for the first time – billed as a piano-playing “Wunderkind”. This was followed by many smaller performances, including private concerts. Later, the young Beethoven would occasionally assist as the court chapel's organist, though still without pay. His first permanent appointment came in 1784, when he was 14, as the court’s second organist.