Ludwig Van Beethoven Timeline and Important Events

Created By: Angela Zheng
Ludwig Van Beethoven

Date of Birth

  • December 1770, Bonn Germany

Date/Age of Death

  • March 26, 1827 Vienna, Austria
  • Age 56

Time Period Of Beethoven

  • German Composer
  • The predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras.
Year 1770

December 7th

Beethoven was baptized in the church of of St Religious, Bonn.

  • The exact date of birth was not recorded, but since it was customary for baptisms to take place within 24 hours of birth, it is likely he was born on 16th of December.
Year 1773

24 December 1773

Beethoven’s beloved grandfather, Kapellmeister Ludwig Van Beethoven, dies.

Year 1778
Beethoven’s first public appearance
  • 26 March 1778. Beethoven’s first known public performance, in Cologne.
  • His father advertised his age as 6 years, although he was in fact seven. (Probably to draw favourable comparisons with the child prodigy Mozart. He played ‘various clavier concertos and trios’.
Year 1781
Traveled to Vienna

In 1781 Beethoven was invited to Holland. His father couldn't go. Though, it was an opportunity not to be missed so he went with his mother.

In year 1787 Beethoven traveled to Vienna hoping to study with Mozart.

  • This was the turning point in his career. He spent several weeks organising his future life during which time it is supposed he met Mozart, who would later be his teacher.
  • Beethoven had to leave Vienna shortly after his arrival there. His mother had died and he had to return to Bonn. But he was back to Vienna again in 1792, receiving instruction from Haydn.
Year 1783
First Compositions
  • Beethoven composes his first piece, aged 12. Nine Variations on a March by Dressler includes clever harmonies, delightful melodic phrasing and hints at his later stormy musical character.
Year 1787
Meets Mozart


  • Beethoven achieves his long-held ambition to travel to Vienna to meet Mozart, almost certainly thanks to the intervention of his patron Count Waldstein with the new elector, Maximilian Franz.
  • Barely two weeks after arriving, and having impressed Mozart so much he agrees to take him as a pupil. Though, Beethoven has to return to Bonn where his mother is dying of consumption. By the time he returns to Vienna nearly five years later, Mozart is dead.

17 July

  • Beethoven’s mother, Maria Magdalena, dies.
Year 1789
  • Beethoven’s father, Johann Van Beethoven, a tenor singer, is forced to retire from the electoral choir, after is increase of drinking ruined his voice.
Year 1792
Beethoven leaves for Vienna
  • November
  • Beethoven, one month short of his 22nd birthday, leaves Bonn for Vienna to study with Haydn. He has been given six months leave of absence by the elector. In fact he stays in Vienna for the rest of his life - never to return to his home town.

18 December

  • Beethoven’s father dies.
Year 1793
  • Beethoven becomes Haydn’s pupil.
  • Begins lessons with Haydn. The city’s most influential musical patrons - particularly Prince Lichnowsky - take Beethoven under their wing, and put him forward to take on then city’s piano virtuosos in improvisation contests.
Year 1794-95

Year 1794

  • Piano Trios op. 1.
  • Caspar Carl moves to Vienna. Beethoven begins composing Piano Trios op. 1.

Year 1795

Piano Sonatas op. 2

  • 29 March
  • Beethoven’s first public performance in Vienna, where he premiers either his First or Second Piano Concerto.
  • Beethoven composes Piano Sonatas op. 2.
  • Beethoven performs the Piano Trios before Haydn. who is critical of no. 3, advising against publication. Beethoven is furious, but he heals the rift with his teacher when he dedicates the Piano Sonatas to him. Nikolaus Johann moves to Vienna.
Year 1796

Cello Sonatas op. 5

Beethoven travels with Prince Lichnowsky to Prague, where he gives a concert. He goes on to Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin. In Berlin he composes the Cello Sonatas op. 5.

Year 1797
The beginning of Beethoven’s deafness?

Beethoven gives the first performance of Quintet op. 16 at Jahn’s restaurant in the Himmelpfortgasse. In the summer he falls seriously ill. It is possible typhus and could mark the beginning of his deafness.

Year 1801
Moonlight Sonata

Beethoven composes music for The Creatures of Prometheus. Beethoven’s great friend from his childhood in Bonn, Stephan von Breuning, moves to Vienna.

  • 29 June

In a long letter to his old friend Dr Franz Wegeler in Bonn, Beethoven mentions his deafness for the first time. ‘…for the last three years my hearing has become worse…’

  • 26 July

Beethoven falls in love with Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, and dedicates the Sonata quasi una Fantasia to her. Many years later, after his death, it acquires the nickname Moonlight Sonata.

Year 1802
Symphony no. 2

Baron Braun refuses Beethoven his benefit concert.

  • April

Beethoven moves to Heiligenstadt north of Vienna for the summer to receive his hearing. In Heiligenstadt he composes the Prometheus (Eroica) Variations op. 35 and the three Piano Sonatas op. 31. He completes Symphony no. 2

Year 1802. October 6th

6 October

Beethoven writes the Heiligenstadt Testament, his last will and testament, publicly acknowledging his deafness for the first time … “Oh, all you people who think or say that I am hostile to you, or that I am stubborn, or that I hate mankind, you do not realize that wrong that you do to me… I am deaf…”

Created By
Angela Z.


Created with images by the3cats - "flute musical instrument silver plated" • stevepb - "piano music score music sheet" • zoonabar - "Beethoven" • gaspart64 - "beethoven" • Jim Linwood - "Beethoven's Trumpet (With Ear) By John Baldessari, Saatchi Gallery - London." • Tim Green aka atoach - "Beethoven" • Taz-Voll - "ForegroundBackground2" • breakevenx - "music piece piano" • KateCox - "rose red sheet music" • MIH83 - "music sheet music clef" • FotoshopTofs - "music sheet notes music" • veritatem - "sheet music" • KateCox - "rose red sheet music" • fusion-of-horizons - "untitled image" • ptwo - "2977" • tpsdave - "beethoven opus 101 musical score" • fdecomite - "Beethoven close-up"

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