Here are some facts about Beethoven.*
He grew up thinking he was younger than he actually was. Sources speculate that his showbiz dad told him he was born two years later than he really was to make his talents, which manifested in childhood, seem even more impressive. Beethoven Sr. had been a singer earlier in life, but never succeeded, and thus lived vicariously through his uber-talented son. Consider it the 18th-century version of Dance Moms.
He might have been the first full-time, salaried musician. Beethoven moved to Vienna in his early 20s, which was essentially like any kid with an inkling of artistic talent moving to New York to chase their dreams. After being rejected for a job, he started threatening to leave Vienna in search of better prospects. A group of local admirers pooled their money to pay him an annual salary so he could just do his thing and write music.
He died during a thunderstorm. Which sounds appropriately dramatic for the man who created some the biggest, boldest music in history, but an autopsy revealed an alarmingly damaged liver. Beethoven liked a drink.
A woman once called him “very ugly, but noble.” Yeesh.
Here’s a more recent fact: One Found Sound, the conductor-less orchestra bent on bringing the often stuffy and financially inaccessible world of classical music back down to earth, is preparing a Beethoven program for early next month. TBH, it’s not one you know. It’s not Moonlight Sonata, or Fur Elise, or the big DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH one. It’s the Septet in E Flat Major, Op. 20, and I had to look it up. But if you’re unfamiliar with the classical canon, Beethoven’s pretty much always a good place to start.
Expand your horizons at the SUB next month with One Found Sound, and check out their calendar for other adventurous offerings in the classical realm. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to try yoga with a live orchestra in February.
One Found Sound: Sounds of 7 | Chamber 1
November 9, 2019
*This post sponsored by the first page of Google results for “Beethoven facts.” Historical accuracy not guaranteed.