Superstar Beethoven

Even today, in the early 21st Century, Ludwig van Beethoven is still the superstar among history’s famous composers.

Beethoven is everywhere – a global artist whose name needs no introduction and whose language requires no translation. Every day, somewhere in the world, there’s a Beethoven symphony or piano concerto being performed live in front of thousands of people. Millions listen to his music on CDs, radio or online. Beethoven’s music is played more than any other composer, and his 9th Symphony is played more often than any other piece.

Beethoven was the force behind the evolution of Viennese classical music, taking it to its highest form and paving the way for the Romantic era. Particularly for the core forms of Viennese classical music – the symphony, piano sonata and string quartet – the impact of Beethoven’s work on the course of music history could not have been greater.

But Beethoven was a lot more. He was a revolutionary, a visionary and a man of the world. He had a powerful imagination and brimmed over with musical ideas; he was melancholy, he was deaf; he was bold and passionate. Starting with his earliest days as a child, Beethoven’s life could not have been more intense.