Ludwig van Beethoven, an amazing musician and composer, was baptized on December 17,  1770.   Back then it was accepted by society to have infants baptized within twenty-four hours of birth; therefore it is likely for the musician to have been born on the 16th of December, with lesser possibilities of being born on the 15th, in the late hours, or on the 17th in the early morning, but his birth date remains unknown because the birth certificate was wilfully destroyed.  Although his real birthdate is unknown, Beethoven’s family celebrated his birthday on December 16.  Ludwig van Beethoven was born to Johann van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich in Bonn, Germany.   The musician was the eldest, but he wasn’t the firstborn.

 Bringing unbridled joy to his parents, Ludwig wasn’t born in to a normal and loving family.The young musician’s talent was recognized early on, and by the age of four he was taught the clavier and viola.  By 1778 he was learning to play the organ and viola i addition to his piano studies.  Ludwig’s first musical instruction was by his father, Johann, who was a harsh, selfish alcoholic.  Later in Ludwig’s life, Johann asked his friend, Tobias Pfeiffer, to teach his son.  The harsh treatment continued, as Johann and Tobias would come home late on occasion and pull young Ludwig out of bed to practice until morning.  Johann drove Ludwig relatively hard in the quest to develop his musical talent.

 Many witness report saying they saw the small boy standing on a footstool in front of the clavier in tears.  Others reported seeing the father using physical violence, even shutting the child up in a cellar.  On the 26 of March, 1778, a remarkable event occured in the young musician’s life, one that has risen much myth and speculation surrounding the actions of his father, Johann.  The father staged a public concert featuring one of his vocal students , and his son Ludwig.  He put up a false advertisement saying: ” Today, 26 March 1778, in the musical concert room in the Sternengasse, the Electoral Court Tenorist, Beethoven, will have the honour to produce … his little son of six years, who will perform various clavier concertos and trios … Tickets may be had at the Akademiesaal … ” (Beethoven: The Man Revealed, p. 13, l. 3-7) ” In March 1778, Ludwig was seven years and three months old” (Beethoven: The Man Revealed, p. 13, l.

8).  Back then, musicians earned more money if they were younger, so Johann falsified Ludwig’s age, in order to get more money, to get more people to sponsor the child.  He thought making Ludwig appear younger would make his musical skills as the more impressive – thinking Ludwig compare to the child prodigy Mozart.  It was known all around that Mozart’s father had taken him on tour as a young child, to acclaim the amassing of substantial payments.  Ludwig’s birth certificate, had not doubtedly disappeared, because his father destroyed the evidence deliberately.



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