Ludwig van Beethoven

Born: 1770
Died: 1827

Beethoven coupled his genius for music with profoundly held political beliefs and an almost religious certainty about his purpose. With the possible exception of Wagner, no other composer has, single-handedly, changed the course of music so dramatically and continued to develop and experiment throughout his entire career.

Below, we've gathered in-depth guides to all aspects of Beethoven's life and music, drawn from the pages of Gramophone magazine. There is also a full biography and links to some of the finest recordings of Beethoven's music, from the early 20th century to today. Enjoy!

Explore Beethoven's life and music...

The 50 greatest Beethoven recordings 

Beethoven Greatest Recordings

Complete with the original Gramophone reviews of 50 of the finest Beethoven recordings available... Read more

The complete guide to Beethoven's Symphonies 

Beethoven Symphonies

The symphonies explored by nine leading conductors: Norrington, Zinman, Jansons, Vänskä, Gardiner, Iván Fischer, Tilson Thomas, Paavo Järvi and Chailly... Read more 

How Beethoven's symphonies changed the world

Beethoven Symphonies Changed the World

Riccardo Chailly talks to Phillip Clark about how Beethoven's Symphonies have influenced generations of composers... Read more

Beethoven Today 

Beethoven Today

Richard Wigmore speaks to some of the world's leading Beethoven conductors to understand why his music is as relevant and important today as it was 200 years ago... Read more

A guide to the best recordings of Beethoven's Symphony No 3, 'Eroica'

Beethoven Symphony No 3

The Third Symphony is both great music and a force beyond music. How, asks Richard Osborne, have conductors met this challenge during the work’s 90-year-long recorded history?... Read more

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