The Story of Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven, born to a loving mother but a lazy and erratic father, finds solace in his paternal grandfather’s gentle attention. His grandfather takes little Ludwig for walks, plays tunes on the piano, and sings him folk songs. After his grandfather dies, Ludwig’s life is harsher, especially when his father, Johann, calls him out of bed in the middle of the night to give him piano lessons. Despite his father’s punitive style of teaching, Ludwig cannot help but love music and starts creating his own tunes. Impressed, Johann hopes to make money by taking eight-year-old Ludwig to Cologne to win the crowds as young Mozart had done years before. Unfortunately Beethoven lacks the grace and personal finesse that had attracted people to Mozart as a boy prodigy. Though Beethoven plays well, the crowd laughs at his presentation. Young Ludwig is shaken, but inwardly asserts that he is Beethoven—not Mozart—and the music he makes will be his own.
This biography reveals the struggles and triumphs of the unkempt and enormously creative Ludwig van Beethoven in his life-long quest to conquer music as the “Great Mogul” had conquered Europe centuries before.