Education in general and in music Beethoven came from a musical family, and his early musical training was under his father’s guidance. His father taught him piano and violin. His general education was not continued beyond the elementary school. He was practically illiterate in math.
As a youth of 19, in 1789, Beethoven took legal steps to have himself placed at the head of his family. He petitioned for half his father’s salary to support his brothers. This act of self-assertion is an indication of his character. On one of Haydn’s trips to London, he met the young Beethoven.
Beethoven showed Haydn a cantata and he received Haydn’s commendation. The Elector of Bonn paid for Beethoven’s lessons and expences in to study with Haydn in Vienna. Beethoven arrived in Vienna in 1792 and studied with Haydn for about one year. The arrangement proved to be a dissappointment to Beethoven.
Outwardly in public the two were cordial, but there were troubles with the relationship–maybe professional jealousy caused the problems. Beethoven turned to other teachers when Haydn went to London for the second time. He studied with Albrechtsberger, famous as a choir director at St. Stephens in Vienna and the best-known counterpoint teacher in Vienna.
He then studied Salieri, famous in Mozart’s biography. Salieri helped Beethoven in setting Italian words to music. IV. Establishment as pianist and composer His first task in Vienna was to establish himself as pianist and composer.
He achieved both rapidly. He had worked for a court in Bonn so his first contacts were in aristocratic circles. He needed financial support from them. Public concerts were not yet the way of life in Vienna, but Beethoven did begin a series of charity concerts.
Later in 1800 he gave his first concert for his own benefit. His opus 1, Trios for Piano Violin and Cello, were designed to impress Viennese society. Each trio is in 4 movements. Beethoven created parity among the instruments in these trios.
All three brothers lived in Vienna and they often “came to blows” in the street. After his brother Carl died in 1815 Beethoven felt responsible for his nephew Karl. He had little difficulty in persuading himself that his sister-in-law was unfit to care for Karl. He went to court requesting guardianship (he won).
It is not known for sure when he began to go deaf, but he kept the fact a secret until 1801 when he wrote a Bonn friend about his “miserably life”. Having moved out of the city for medical reasons he wrote the Heiligenstadt Testament. He was totally deaf by 1818. He continued to compose until the year of his death in 1827.