History of Beethoven: 250th Anniversary — 5 Things You Didn’t Know

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Ludwig van Beethoven
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Beethoven’s birthplace, Bonn, Germany

1. We don’t know when Beethoven was born

We know that he was baptized 250 years ago today, on December 17, 1770, in Bonn, Germany — but not when he was born. Church records kept track of baptismal dates. In Germany, at this time, it was common for a baby to be baptized the day after they were born.

2. Beethoven studied in Vienna under Mozart’s teacher, Franz Joseph Haydn

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Franz Joseph Haydn

3. Beethoven dedicated his Symphony № 3 in E-flat Major to Napoleon

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4. A historian wrote the words to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy

Friedrich Schiller was a leading German historian and poet at the time. He wrote An die Freude or “Ode to Joy.” Beethoven adapted it for the choral climax of his Symphony No 9 in D Minor.

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Schiller’s autograph “Ode to Joy”

5. His last words were brief and tragic

It has been commonly said that at the end of his life, as he died in his apartment in Vienna, he said to his later secretary and biographer, Anton Schindler

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Silicon Valley Tech Exec: Cloud, Data Storage, Automation. Author of fascinating articles about history, tech trends, andpop culture. Blog: http://billpetro.com

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