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Happy Birthday dear Ludwig...

posted Dec 15, 2012, 12:24 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Jan 20, 2013, 8:51 PM ]
Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 16th, 1770 in Germany.  His musical talent was obvious at an early age; so his father, who taught him organ and viola, attempted to exploit him as a child prodigy by claiming he was younger than his real age when he gave his first public performance at the age of seven. 

By the time he was 17 he traveled to Vienna to study  with Mozart, but unfortunately by the time he got there Mozart had just died.  His plan was to establish himself as a performer there; and while he did build a reputation as one among the nobility, Haydn encouraged him to study more composition.  With the premieres of his first two symphonies in his early twenties, he became regarded as one of the most influential young composers following Haydn and Mozart. 

By his late twenties he began to suffer from hearing loss.  Though this did not prevent him from composing music, it made playing concerts – a lucrative source of income – increasingly difficult.  After a failed attempt to perform one of his own piano concertos at the age of 41, he never performed in public again. 

He is remembered as the composer who transitioned music from the classical style of Haydn and Mozart into the Romantic Era.  His most popular pieces include 9 symphonies; 32 piano sonatas; 16 string quartets and his celebrated choral work Missa Solemnis.

We're celebrating Beethoven's birthday at 4:30pm today during our Festive Classical Concert just before the 8th Annual Lighting of Trees and Angels.  This program will feature a rarely heard fugue Beethoven composed for organ; a short anthem he composed for choir; an Epiphany hymn based on his Romance for Violin; a string quartet from St. Francis Preparatory School and his famous Moonlight Sonata.  Also, cuori BELLissimi! will make their concert debut!  And for the first time, it's all followed with popular carols performed by family and friends of Immaculate Heart of Mary, like a mini-street festival.  I hope to see you at the party!
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