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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)was born in Bonn,on the 17 of December 1770. He studied first with his father, Johann, a singer and instrumentalist in the service of the Elector of Cologne at Bonn.It was said that he was a violent and intemperate man who returned home late at night and and dragged young Ludwig from his bed in order to"beat" music lessons into the boy's sleepy head. Despite these and other abuses - which might well have persuaded as lesser person to loathe the subject - the young Beethoven developed a sensitivity and vision for music.

Ludwig gave his first public performance as a pianist when he was eight years old. At the age of eleven he received the necessary systematic training in piano performance and composition from Christian Gottlob Neefe, organist and court musician in Bonn.when Beethoven got to the age of 12 he had some music published.

In 1787 Beethoven was granted a paid leave of absence to study in Vienna under Mozart. Barely had he arrived he was summoned back to Bonn to his dying mother.

Five years later he went back, where he settled. He pursued his studies, first with Hadyn, but there was some clash of temperaments and Beethoven studied too with Schenk, Albrechtsberger and Salieri. In 1794,Beethoven played at private houses or palaces rather than in public. But when he first made his public debut which was in was in 1795 as a pianist, it was reported, he had fire, brilliance and fantasy as well as depth of feeling in his music. It is naturally in the piano sonatas, writing for his own instrument, that he is at his most original in this period. Little does he know Vienna was to remain his home for the rest of his life.