German composerLudwig van Beethoven. Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany on December 16, 1770, and lived until 1827. I consider Beethoven to have been one of the world’s first rock stars. Here’s why:
Beethoven had a rough childhood. Young Ludwig was often dragged out of bed by his drunken father who forced him to play music for his friends. Ludwig’s musical talents came forth at an early age, and he gave his first performance at the age of 7. His father recognized his talent, and unsuccessfully tried to exploit his son as a child prodigy. Then, both Ludwig‘s mother & sister died when he was 16. He was then forced to raise his 2 younger brothers as his father’s alcoholism had worsened.
Beethoven launched his career by working as a freelance composer & musician, rather than working for the Church. His music was groundbreaking in terms of both technical and emotional impact. He was also viewed as one of the most important transitional figures between the Classical and Romantic eras of Western Classical music. And, he studied with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who many consider to have been the world’s first rock star.
Beethoven started to go deaf in his 20’s, which led him to think about suicide, and he also experienced periods of depression. He often fought with his family, and treated others with disrespect. And, he had strange personal habits, such as wearing dirty clothing, even though he bathed frequently.