Ludwig van Beethoven

Born: 1770
Died: 1827

Beethoven truly felt that he was both sent by God and inspired by God. ‘Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy,’ he is quoted as saying. People approach Beethoven with a feeling of awe and reverence, an appropriate response to one of the supreme creative geniuses of history.

Beethoven’s credo was the entirely new one expressed in the writings of the philosophers of the Enlightenment such as Rousseau and Voltaire: the creative ego has the right to express itself in its own way without fear or hindrance.

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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