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TIMELINE OF KEY EVENTS IN BEETHOVEN'S LIFE

1770
Beethoven born in Bonn

1783
First music published

1787
Travels to Vienna and meets Mozart who agrees to teach him, but returns to Bonn on hearing that his mother is dying

1792
Returns to Vienna and there begins studying with Haydn

1800
Beethoven's first benefit concert in Vienna. The First Symphony is performed, alongside the Septet and one of the first two piano concertos.

1801
Beethoven writes of his deafness for the first time, in a letter to a friend from Bonn. He falls in love with Countess Giulietta Guicciardi and dedicates his Sonata quasi una Fantasia to her (this later becomes known as the Moonlight Sonata).

1802
Beethoven travels to Heiligenstadt outside Vienna, in the hope that his hearing will improve. It doesn't and Beethoven writes of his despair and suicidal thoughts in letter form, addressed to his brothers. This became known as the 'Heiligenstadt Testament'.

1804
When Napoleon is proclaimed Emperor, Beethoven tears up the front page of his Third 'Eroica' Symphony which is dedicated to him.

1805
Leonore , Beethoven's opera is completed and performed. It is considered unsuccessful and is revised twice before the final version (Fidelio) is performed in 1814.

1808
Beethoven's benefit concert at the Theater an der Wien is finally held on 22nd December, after much delay. The Fifth and Sixth 'Pastoral' Symphonies are performed for the first time.

1809
Austria declares war on France

1812
Beethoven writes a passionate letter to an un-named woman who he refers to as 'Eternally beloved'.

1813
After Wellington defeats the French in Spain, Beethoven writes a piece to mark the occasion which later becomes known as the Battle Symphony op.91


1814
Fidelio is performed for the first time and is then performed when the heads of state are gathered for the Congress of Vienna.

1815
Beethoven's brother, Caspar dies and his wife and Beethoven are appointed joint guardians of his son Karl. Beethoven begins a legal battle to win sole custody of Karl.

1816
Beethoven wins sole custody of Karl.

1818
Beethoven completes the Hammerklavier Sonata and begins sketches for the Ninth Symphony.
His nephew, Karl runs away back to his mother and she launches an appeal for custody.

1820
Beethoven is working on the Missa Solemnis for the enthronement of Archduke Rudolph as Archbishop of Olmütz but it is not ready for the occasion - it is completed in 1821.

1824
The Ninth Symphony and the Missa Solemnis are premiered in Vienna.

1825-1826
Beethoven writes what are to be his last quartets. He originally composes the Grosse Fugue as the finale to op.130 but agrees to write a replacement for it and so it is later published as a separate work.
His nephew, Karl attempts to commit suicide.

1827
Beethoven dies in March.

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