On Radio 3 Now

In Tune

16:30 - 17:30

Sean Rafferty presents a selection of music and guests from the arts world.

Next On Air

17:30 Opera on 3

View full schedule


Beethoven born in Bonn

First music published

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

Returns to Vienna and there begins studying with Haydn

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

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).

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'.

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

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.

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.

Austria declares war on France

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

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

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

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.

Beethoven wins sole custody of Karl.

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.

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.

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

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.

Beethoven dies in March.

    BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

    This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.