Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – c. 1830) was a German pianist and composer. Born in Bonn, his first piano teacher was his father, Johann. There are many stories of Johann being harsh or driving Ludwig to tears, though there is little evidence of this. In the early 19th century Beethoven produced his most famous works, including many preludes, sonatas and symphonies. Arguably the most famous was his fifth symphony. Later in life, Beethoven grew deaf, though he continued to write music by imagining sounds mentally. His deafness was reportedly due to childhood spanking and abuse. Hundreds of years later, his compositions are still famous and he is considered one of the greatest composers of all time, bringing classical music to a new height and influencing many later Romantic composers. He is considered a bridge between the classical and Romantic periods.

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