A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Ludwig van Beethoven

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December 8, 1756: Christoph Willibald Gluck’s (42) dramma per musica Il rè pastore to words of Metastasio is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna for the birthday of Emperor Franz. Also born today is the Emperor’s son, Archduke Maximilian Franz, who in 1784 will become the patron of the young Ludwig van Beethoven.
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December 16, 1770: This is the day generally assumed to be the birthdate of Ludwig van Beethoven, at Bonngasse 515 (now Bonngasse 18-26) in Bonn, Electorate of Cologne.
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December 17, 1770: Ludwig van Beethoven is baptized at the Parish of St. Remigius in Bonn, in the Electorate of Cologne, the second and eldest surviving of seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, tenor and music teacher, and Maria Magdalena Keverich (widow of Johann Georg Leym), daughter of the chief kitchen overseer for the Elector of Trier. Given the practices of the day, it is presumed that the birth took place yesterday.
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January 15, 1777: The Electoral Residence in Bonn goes up in flames. Fire reaches a powder magazine which explodes. The fire goes on for two days and destroys most of the palace. Living next to the palace, the conflagration is witnessed by Ludwig van Beethoven (6) and his family.
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March 26, 1778: Ludwig van Beethoven (7) appears in concert for the first time, with his father and another child-student of his father, in the Academy Room on the Sternengaße, Cologne.
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February 15, 1781: Christian Gottlob Neefe (33) is named a candidate for court organist in Bonn. While there, he will be composition instructor to an aspiring young musician named Ludwig van Beethoven (10).
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June 20, 1782: One day after being appointed court organist in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe (34) leaves on a summer tour. While he is away, his duties will be taken up by his talented student, Ludwig van Beethoven (11).
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March 2, 1783: Ludwig van Beethoven (12) receives his first public notice, in a letter from his teacher, Christian Gottlob Neefe (35) to Cramer’s Magazin der Musik. (This edition is actually published on March 30)
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April 26, 1783: Bonn Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi and Konzertmeister Cajetano Mattioli leave town for Italy. While they are away, Luchesi’s duties are taken up by court organist Christian Gottlob Neefe (35). With all this extra work, Neefe will call on the assistance of his student, Ludwig van Beethoven (12).
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October 14, 1783: Three piano sonatas WoO 47, called the “Kurfürstensonaten”, by Ludwig van Beethoven (12) are published in Speyer.
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November 23, 1783: Ludwig van Beethoven (12) appears in performance at the court of Prince Willem V of Orange-Nassau at The Hague, probably playing his Piano Concerto in E flat WoO4.
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April 15, 1784: Maximilian Friedrich, Elector-Archbishop of Cologne, and employer of Christian Gottlob Neefe (36) and Ludwig van Beethoven (13), dies and is succeeded by Maximilian Franz, Archduke of Austria.
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June 27, 1784: Ludwig van Beethoven (13) is hired as second organist by the new Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Franz. He is under the direction of first organist Christian Gottlob Neefe (36). Neefe’s salary is reduced from 400 to 200 florins and Beethoven is hired at 150 florins.
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March 20, 1787: This is the approximate date that Ludwig van Beethoven (16) departs Bonn to study, supposedly with Mozart (31), in Vienna.
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April 1, 1787: Ludwig van Beethoven (16) reaches Munich on his way from Bonn to Vienna.
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April 7, 1787: Ludwig van Beethoven (16) arrives in Vienna from Bonn. He is in the city for a two-week stay, during which he is supposed to receive instruction from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (31). (There is no hard evidence that he ever met Mozart or what their relationship was)
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April 20, 1787: This is the approximate date that Ludwig van Beethoven (16) departs Vienna for Bonn.
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February 1, 1788: On or about this date, Count Ferdinand Ernst Joseph Gabriel Waldstein und Wartenberg von Dux arrives in Bonn to be inducted into the Teutonic Order by Elector Maximilian Franz. He will become the first important patron for Ludwig van Beethoven (17).
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May 14, 1789: Ludwig van Beethoven (18) matriculates at the University of Bonn in the faculty of philosophy.
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November 20, 1789: In response to the petition of Ludwig van Beethoven (18), the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne banishes Beethoven’s father to a country village and half his salary is to be paid to the son. His Eminence cites increased alcoholism and an inability to perform his duties.
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March 17, 1790: A meeting of the Lesergesellschaft in Bonn decides that the music they commissioned for a memorial to the late Emperor Joseph II will not be performed. The Funeral Cantata for Joseph WoO 87 by Ludwig van Beethoven (19) is not finished, and what is already composed can not be played by the available musicians.
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December 26, 1790: On St. Stephen’s Day, Franz Joseph Haydn (58) and Johann Peter Solomon attend mass in Bonn where one of his masses is performed by the musicians Elector Maximilian Franz. Afterwards, the Elector introduces Haydn to his musicians, including Ludwig van Beethoven (20). He then provides all of them with a dinner.
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March 6, 1791: The Ritterballet by Ludwig van Beethoven (20) to a scenario by Count Waldstein is performed for the first time, in Bonn. This is a ballet produced by Beethoven’s aristocratic friend count Ferdinand Waldstein and is billed as his work. The actual name of the composer is not made public.
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July 24, 1792: Joseph Haydn (60) arrives back in Vienna from England. Along the way he stopped in Bonn where he once again met a talented young musician named Ludwig van Beethoven (21). Haydn is very impressed and it is agreed that Beethoven will study with Haydn in Vienna and accompany him to England in 1793.
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October 22, 1792: War of the First Coalition: In the face of the French invasion of the Rhineland, the electoral court departs Bonn, leaving Ludwig van Beethoven (21) with nothing to do.
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October 29, 1792: In Bonn, Count Ferdinand Waldstein writes in Ludwig van Beethoven’s (21) farewell book, “You are now going to Vienna in fulfillment of your long frustrated wishes. Mozart’s Genius is still mourning and lamenting the death of its pupil. She found a refuge in the inexhaustible Haydn, but no occupation; through him she still wishes to be united with someone else. Through uninterrupted diligence you will receive: Mozart’s spirit from Haydn’s hands.”
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November 2, 1792: Ludwig van Beethoven (21) departs Bonn for Vienna to study with Franz Joseph Haydn (60). He will never return.
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November 10, 1792: Ludwig van Beethoven (21) arrives in Vienna on a stagecoach from Bonn. (probable date)
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December 12, 1792: In his expense book, Ludwig van Beethoven (21) notes the cost of his first lesson with Franz Joseph Haydn (60).
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December 18, 1792: One month after Ludwig van Beethoven (21) arrives in Vienna, his father dies in Bonn. Beethoven makes no attempt to return home.
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May 3, 1793: The Cologne Privy Council agrees to continue to subsidize Ludwig van Beethoven (22) as they had during the life of his father.
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November 23, 1793: Joseph Haydn (61) writes to Maximilian Franz, Elector-Archbishop of Cologne, sending him some of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (22) compositions and saying that “Beethoven will in time attain the rank of the great musical artists of Europe, and I shall be proud to call myself his teacher.” (Heartz, 707) He also asks the Elector to increase Beethoven’s stipend.
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January 19, 1794: Joseph Haydn (61) departs Vienna for his second journey to London in a traveling coach loaned by Baron van Swieten. With the departure of Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven (23) seeks instruction from Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (57).
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October 3, 1794: Elector Maximilian Franz of Cologne flees Bonn before the advancing French. This event convinces Ludwig van Beethoven (23) that he should remain in Vienna.
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March 2, 1795: Ludwig van Beethoven (24) makes his Vienna debut, at the palace of Prince Lobkowitz.
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March 29, 1795: The Piano Concerto no.2 op.19 by Ludwig van Beethoven (24) is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna, the composer at the keyboard. This is Beethoven’s public debut in Vienna. He finished composing the work only two days ago. The Wiener Zeitung will report that the audience gave him “undivided acclaim.” (Skowroneck, 143) (some think that Beethoven played the Piano Concerto no.1 op.15 at this occasion)
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March 31, 1795: Ludwig van Beethoven (24) performs a Mozart (†3) piano concerto at a production of La Clemenza di Tito to benefit Mozart’s widow, Constanze.
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May 9, 1795: Publication of three Piano Trios op.1 by Ludwig van Beethoven (24) is advertised in the Wiener Zeitung.
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November 22, 1795: Ludwig van Beethoven's (24) Twelve Minuets WoO 7 and Twelve German Dances WoO 8 are performed for the first time, at a masked ball in the Vienna Redoutensaal attended by Joseph Haydn (63).
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December 18, 1795: The Piano Concerto no.1 op.15 by Ludwig van Beethoven (25) is performed for the first time, the composer at the keyboard, at a concert arranged by Joseph Haydn (63) in the Redoutensaal, Vienna. Haydn introduces three of his London symphonies to the Viennese public.
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March 9, 1796: Publication of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (25) three piano sonatas op.2 is advertised in the Wiener Zeitung.
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March 11, 1796: Ludwig van Beethoven (25) gives a performance in Prague.
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April 29, 1796: Ludwig van Beethoven (25) plays before Elector Friedrich August III of Saxony at Dresden.
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November 21, 1796: Ah! Perfido for soprano and orchestra by Ludwig van Beethoven (25) to words of Metastasio is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
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November 23, 1796: Ludwig van Beethoven (25) performs in Pressburg (Bratislava).
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December 15, 1796: In a letter to Ludwig van Beethoven (25), Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (60) mentions that Joseph Haydn (64) spoke to him yesterday about a big oratorio to be called The Creation. He even played a little of it for him.
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April 6, 1797: The Quintet for piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn op.16 by Ludwig van Beethoven (26) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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October 7, 1797: Publication of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (26) Piano Sonata op.7 and Serenade for string trio op.8 is announced in the Wiener Zeitung along with Three Grandes Sonates for piano with violin and cello accompaniment B.468-470 by Ignaz Pleyel (41).
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December 23, 1797: The Variations on La ci darem la mano WoO28 for two oboes and english horn by Ludwig van Beethoven (27) are performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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March 29, 1798: One of the three Violin Sonatas op.12 by Ludwig van Beethoven (27) is performed for the first time, in Vienna, the composer at the piano.
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July 21, 1798: Publication of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (27) three string trios op.9 is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
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September 22, 1798: Publication of the Variations on Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen for cello and piano op.66 by Ludwig van Beethoven (27) is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
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September 26, 1798: Publication of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (27) three piano sonatas op.10 is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
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October 3, 1798: Publication of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (27) Trio for clarinet, cello and piano op.11 is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
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January 3, 1799: Falstaff, ossia Le tre burle, a dramma giocoso by Antonio Salieri (48) to words of Defranceschi after Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna. Almost immediately, Ludwig van Beethoven (28) begins writing a set of variation on the duet “La stessa, la stessissima” WoO73.
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January 12, 1799: The Wiener Zeitung announces publication of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (28) three violin sonatas op.12.
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December 20, 1799: The Septet op.20 by Ludwig van Beethoven (28) is performed for the first time, privately, in the Vienna palace of Prince Schwarzenburg.
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December 21, 1799: The Wiener Zeitung announces publication of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (29) two piano sonatas op.14.
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April 2, 1800: Ludwig van Beethoven (29) gives the first public concert for his benefit, at the Burgtheater, Vienna. The program includes a Mozart (†8) symphony, an aria and duet from Haydn’s (68) The Creation, a piano concerto and improvisations by Beethoven, and the first performance of the Septet op.20 and the Symphony no.1. The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung calls it “the most interesting concert in a long time.”
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April 18, 1800: Sonata for french horn and piano op.17 by Ludwig van Beethoven (29) is performed for the first time, in the Hofburgtheater, Vienna, the composer at the keyboard. The applause is so great that the entire work is repeated.
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September 9, 1800: Sieber announces the publication of Sonate à quatre mains pour le clavecin ou forte-piano, oeuvre VI par Louis Vanbee-Thoven. It is the first extant mention of Beethoven (29) in the French press.
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October 8, 1800: Ludwig van Beethoven (29) receives 200 florins from Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz for the String Quartets op.18/4-6.
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March 28, 1801: The Creatures of Prometheus, a ballet by Ludwig van Beethoven (30), is performed for the first time, in the Hofburgtheater, Vienna. An approving Joseph Haydn (68) is in the audience.
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June 29, 1801: In a letter to Franz Gerhard Wegeler in Berlin, Ludwig van Beethoven (30) first mentions his deafness. “...if someone speaks in a low voice, I can barely understand; I hear the sounds but not the words. If anyone shouts it is unbearable. What is to become of me, heaven only knows...I have cursed my fate many times already...I shall, if it is at all possible, challenge my fate, although there will be moments when I shall be God’s most unhappy creature.”
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October 28, 1801: Publication of three string quartets op.18/4-6 and two violin sonatas opp.23&24 by Ludwig van Beethoven (30) is announced.
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March 3, 1802: Publication of the piano sonatas opp.26&27 by Ludwig van Beethoven (31) is announced.
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August 14, 1802: Publication of the piano sonata op.28 by Ludwig van Beethoven (31) is announced.
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October 6, 1802: Ludwig van Beethoven (31) writes to his brother from Heiligenstadt, a town in the country where he has gone on the advice of his doctor. The composer speaks of his growing deafness and the emotion he feels inside at its onset, even to the point of suicide. (The letter was apparently never sent, and will be found among his effects after his death.)
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January 22, 1803: Ludwig van Beethoven (32) places an announcement in the Wiener Zeitung denouncing the publishing firm of Artaria and Mollo. They published his String Quintet op.29 in Vienna after Beethoven’s authorized publication by Breitkopf and Härtel in Leipzig. Artaria received the manuscript from the dedicatee, Count Moritz von Fries. See 14 February 1803.
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February 14, 1803: Vienna publishers Artaria and Co. file a petition in the High Police Court, Vienna in an effort to force a retraction from Beethoven (32) of his published statement of 22 January. See 26 September 1803.
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February 17, 1803: In the case against Ludwig van Beethoven (32), Artaria files a subjoined declaration, signed by Count Moritz von Fries, that he allowed them to publish the String Quartet op.29 if they held off until after the Breitkopf and Härtel edition appears in Vienna.
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April 5, 1803: Three new works by Ludwig van Beethoven (32) are performed for the first time, at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna: the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives to words of Huber, the Symphony no.2, and the Third Piano Concerto, all on a program with the composer’s First Symphony. The composer is soloist in the concerto. Critics are mixed, but the concert is a great financial success.
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May 24, 1803: The Sonata for violin and piano op.47 dedicated to Rudolf Kreutzer by Ludwig van Beethoven (32) is performed for the first time, in Vienna, the composer at the keyboard. The premiere was scheduled for two days ago but postponed because Beethoven still hadn’t finished it. He has his student, Ferdinand Ries, copying the first two movements of the violin part at 04:30 this morning, but Ries is only able to finish one movement. The violinist, George Bridgetower, reads the second movement from Beethoven’s manuscript.
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May 28, 1803: Publication of the violin sonatas op.30 and Bagatelles op.33 by Ludwig van Beethoven (32) is announced.
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August 6, 1803: Parisian piano maker Sebastien Erard sells a new grand piano to Ludwig van Beethoven (32). It will arrive in Vienna sometime in October. It has a wider range than most instruments currently available in Vienna.
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September 26, 1803: In the matter of Artaria and Beethoven (32), the High Police Court of Vienna rules for Artaria. Beethoven is ordered to publish a retraction. See 22 January 1803 and 4 December 1803.
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December 4, 1803: Ludwig van Beethoven (32) is brought to court because he has not yet published his retraction, as required by the court finding of 26 September. In fact, he never will. See 31 March 1804.
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March 31, 1804: Ludwig van Beethoven (33) publishes the closest thing to a retraction in the Wiener Zeitung, admitting that Artaria and Co. were not involved in any way with the publication of his quintet. See 8 March 1805.
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March 8, 1805: The High Police Court of Vienna issues a further finding in the case of Beethoven and Artaria. Beethoven (34) must publish a retraction of his offending announcement of 22 January 1803 to Artaria and Co. See 9 September 1805.
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April 7, 1805: Ludwig van Beethoven’s (34) Symphony no.3 “Eroica” is performed publicly for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. It was performed privately last summer at the residence of the dedicatee, Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz. The work leaves the critics confused.
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May 15, 1805: Publication of the Romance op.50 and Piano Sonata “Waldstein” op.53 by Ludwig van Beethoven (34) is announced.
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September 9, 1805: In the final resolution of the Beethoven (34)-Artaria squabble, the lawyers of the two sides sign an agreement that Beethoven will not have to publish a retraction and Artaria will publish a future quintet along with a Paris publisher. Beethoven will never compose the quintet and Artaria will take no further action against him.
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October 2, 1805: Austrian censors approve the opera Leonore by Ludwig van Beethoven (34) for production.
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November 20, 1805: Leonore (Fidelio), an opera by Ludwig van Beethoven (34) to words of Sonnleithner after Bouilly, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna with the Leonore Overture no.2 . Those few who review the work are unimpressed. The hall includes some French officers. Many of the Viennese aristocrats, traditional supporters of the composer, have fled the city. As a result, the work is not a success and enjoys only two more performances. One interested audience member is Luigi Cherubini (45). See 29 March 1806 and 23 May 1814.
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December 7, 1805: Ludwig van Beethoven (34) writes a testimonial for his student Carl Czerny (14), saying “he has made such extraordinary progress on the pianoforte, exceeding his age of 14 years; in view of this fact, and also because of his admirable memory, he is deemed worthy of all possible assistance.”
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February 25, 1806: Faniska, an opéra comique by Luigi Cherubini (45) to words of Sonnleithner after Pixérécourt, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna directed by the composer. The audience includes Emperor Franz and the royal family, Franz Joseph Haydn (72) and Ludwig van Beethoven (35). It is a great success and will receive 28 performances.
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March 29, 1806: The second version of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (35) opera Leonore (Fidelio) to words of Sonnleithner after Bouilly, with the Leonore Overture no.3, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. This version has a much better reception with critics and public than the first. See 20 November 1805 and 23 May 1814.
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April 9, 1806: Publication of the Piano Sonata op.54 by Ludwig van Beethoven (35) is announced.
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November 12, 1806: Muzio Clementi (54) arrives in Vienna from St. Petersburg where he will meet Beethoven (35) and buy the rights to some of his works.
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December 23, 1806: Ludwig van Beethoven’s (36) Concerto for violin and orchestra op.61 is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. Since the music is not ready until the last minute, the soloist, Franz Clement, reads the solo part with only minimal preparation.
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February 21, 1807: Publication of the Piano Sonata “Appassionata” op.57 by Ludwig van Beethoven (36) is announced.
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April 20, 1807: Ludwig van Beethoven (36) signs a contract with Muzio Clementi (55) in Vienna giving Clementi sole printing rights in Britain for the Rassumovsky Quartets, the Symphony no.4, the Coriolanus Overture, the Piano Concerto no.4, and the Violin Concerto.
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September 13, 1807: On the Sunday after the name day of Princess Esterházy, Ludwig van Beethoven (36) directs the first performance of his Mass in C at Eisenstadt. The music is not a success.
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January 9, 1808: Publication of the Razumovsky String Quartets and the Coriolan Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven (37) is announced.
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March 27, 1808: Franz Joseph Haydn (75) makes his last public appearance at a performance of The Creation conducted by Antonio Salieri (57), in an auditorium of the University of Vienna. The performance is attended by several notables, including Prince Lobkowitz, Princess Esterházy and Ludwig van Beethoven (37). In fact, the crowd is so large that police are brought in. Haydn is carried into the hall on a litter. At the words “and there was light”, the assembled multitude bursts into applause. As the emotion of the day becomes too much for him, doctors order that the composer be carried out just as the second part is about to begin.
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November 24, 1808: Johann Friedrich Reichardt, on the eve of his 56th birthday, arrives in Vienna. He is Directeur général des théâtres et de son orchestre to Hieronymus Bonaparte, King of Westphalia since 1807. When he arrives in the city, he is surprised to learn that Ludwig van Beethoven (37) has been offered his job.
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December 5, 1808: Trio for piano and strings op.70/1 “Ghost” by Ludwig van Beethoven (37) is performed for the first time, in Vienna, the composer at the keyboard.
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December 22, 1808: Ludwig van Beethoven (38) conducts a night of his works at the unheated Theater an der Wien, Vienna. The program includes premiere performances of the Symphony no.5, Symphony no.6 and the Choral Fantasy op.80, and the Fourth Piano concerto. Also performed are the scene and aria Ah! Perfido and portions of the Mass in C. The musicians are not up to their best. Beethoven has to stop the Choral Fantasia in the middle because of confusion in the orchestra. In all, the music takes four hours to perform. Prince Lobkowitz is in the audience with his guest, Johann Friedrich Reichardt (56). This is the last time Beethoven performs a piano concerto in public.
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January 7, 1809: Ludwig van Beethoven (38) accepts the offer of King Jerome Bonaparte of Westphalia to be Kapellmeister at Kassel.
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March 1, 1809: After learning that Beethoven (38) has accepted an offer in Kassel, three young Viennese aristocrats, Prince Joseph Lobkowitz, Prince Ferdinand Johann Nepomuk Kinsky, and Archduke Rudolph, agree to pay the composer an annuity for life in return for a promise to remain in Vienna.
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March 5, 1809: The Cello Sonata op.69 by Ludwig van Beethoven (38) is performed publicly for the first time, in Vienna.
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May 12, 1809: War of the Fifth Coalition: 21:00 French forces outside Vienna begin to bombard the city. It lasts all night. Directly in the line of fire is the house of Ludwig van Beethoven (38). Fortunately, the composer escapes the shelling, either to the house of his brother Caspar Carl or that of the poet Ignaz Franz Castelli. Four shells explode near the home of Franz Joseph Haydn (77), one blowing open the door to his bedroom. He is shocked but physically unhurt. The building housing the Imperial and Royal City Seminary is hit by a shell. Fortunately, none of the students, including Franz Schubert (12), are injured. Also in the line of fire is Maria Anna Lager, who in two years will become the mother of Franz Liszt.
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August 9, 1809: Ludwig van Beethoven (38) is nominated as a member of the Gesellschaft der Schönen Künste und Wissenschaften in Amsterdam.
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January 30, 1810: Archduke Rudolph returns to Vienna. Ludwig van Beethoven (39) composes the third movement of his Piano Sonata op.81a “Les Adieux” entitled Das Wiedersehen at the occasion.
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April 27, 1810: Ludwig van Beethoven (39) presents the Bagatelle WoO 59 “Für Elise” to Therese Malfatti as a parting gift after she refused his marriage proposal.
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June 15, 1810: Incidental music for Goethe’s play Egmont by Ludwig van Beethoven (39) is performed for the first time, in the Hofburgtheater, Vienna. The play was produced on 24 May but Beethoven’s music was not ready at that time.
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August 24, 1810: Two works for wind band by Ludwig van Beethoven (39) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Marsch für böhmische Landwehr and Marsch für Erzherzog Anton.
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February 20, 1811: Austria declares state bankruptcy and is forced to devalue its currency at a rate of five to one. This will cause Beethoven (40) to request that his annuity from his three wealthy benefactors be continued at the same value as before the devaluation. Archduke Rudolph agrees. Prince Lobkowitz is in serious financial difficulties and his fortune is in the hands of a financial manager. He is forced to suspend payment for four years. Prince Kinsky will agree next year. See 18 January 1815.
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April 12, 1811: Ludwig van Beethoven (40) writes to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for the first time.
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November 28, 1811: Piano Concerto no.5 “Emperor” by Ludwig van Beethoven (40) is performed, probably for the first time, in the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
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February 9, 1812: Incidental music for Kotzebue’s plays The Ruins of Athens and King Stephen by Ludwig van Beethoven (41) is performed for the first time, at the opening of the Pest Theatre.
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February 11, 1812: The first Vienna performance of the Piano Concerto no.5 “Emperor” by Ludwig van Beethoven (41) takes place, Carl Czerny (20) at the keyboard.
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July 2, 1812: While in Prague, Ludwig van Beethoven (41) visits Prince Kinsky and is assured that his stipend at the new value will be coming soon. He receives an advance of 60 ducats.
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July 5, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (41) arrives in Teplitz (Teplice) via Prague to take the cure.
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July 6, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (41), in Teplitz, pens a letter to his “Immortal Beloved.” (now believed to be Antonie Brentano, a Viennese lady married to a Frankfurt businessman)
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July 19, 1812: While taking the cure at Teplitz (Teplice), two giants of Romanticism, Ludwig van Beethoven (41) and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, meet for the first time. Of the meeting, Goethe will write on 2 September, “His talent amazed me; unfortunately he is an utterly untamed personality, who is not altogether in the wrong in holding the world to be detestable but surely does not make it any the more enjoyable for himself or others by his attitude.” Beethoven will write on 9 August, “Goethe delights far too much in the court atmosphere. Far more than is becoming a poet.”
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July 27, 1812: Beethoven (41) leaves Teplitz (Teplice). He will never see Goethe again.
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August 6, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (41) performs a concert, along with Giovanni Battista Polledro, in Karlsbad (Karoly Vary) to benefit the victims of fire in Baden, 26 July.
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October 5, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (41) arrives in Linz to try and break up an affair between his brother Johann and the sister-in-law of Johann’s tenant, Therese Obermayer. The dispute will dissolve into a physical brawl between the two brothers.
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November 2, 1812: Prince Ferdinand Johann Nepomuk Kinsky, an important patron of Ludwig van Beethoven (41), is thrown from his horse near Prague. He will die early tomorrow.
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December 29, 1812: The Violin Sonata op.96 by Ludwig van Beethoven (42) is performed for the first time, at the home of Prince Lobkowitz, Vienna. The performers are the violinist Jacques Pierre Joseph Rode and Archduke Rudolph.
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December 30, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (42) petitions the estate of Prince Kinsky to be paid his stipend at the revalued rate the Prince agreed to before he died.
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February 12, 1813: Ludwig van Beethoven (42) petitions the estate of Prince Kinsky for a second time, to be paid his stipend at the revalued rate the Prince agreed to before he died.
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March 26, 1813: A Triumphal March for Kuffner’s play Tarpeja by Ludwig van Beethoven (42) is performed for the first time.
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June 21, 1813: Peninsular War: British forces under Viscount Wellington defeat a French force at Vitoria, 50 km southeast of Bilbao, forcing them to retreat in disarray over the Pyrenees. The battle will inspire Ludwig van Beethoven (42) to compose Wellington’s Victory.
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October 13, 1813: The invention of the chronometer, an early metronome, by Johann Nepomuk Maelzel is announced in the Wiener Vaterländische Blätter. It also includes endorsements of the device by several composers, including Ludwig van Beethoven (42).
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December 8, 1813: A benefit for wounded Austrian and Bavarian soldiers at the University of Vienna features the first performance of two works by Ludwig van Beethoven (42): the Symphony no.7 and Wellington’s Victory. The works cause ecstatic applause and critical raves. The concert is so successful it will be repeated 12 December. Wellingtons’s Victory is directed by Beethoven with the assistance of Ignaz Moscheles, and Antonio Salieri (63). The violins include Louis Spohr (29), Ignaz Schuppanzigh, and Joseph Mayseder. Playing bass drum are Meyer Beer (Giacomo Meyerbeer) (22) and Johann Nepomuk Hummel (35). Besides the Beethoven works, the concerts also include two marches, one by Jan Ladislav Dussek (†0), one by Ignace Joseph Pleyel (56), performed by Mälzel’s Mechanical Trumpeter with orchestral accompaniment.
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February 27, 1814: Symphony no.8 by Ludwig van Beethoven (43) is performed for the first time, in the Redoutensaal, Vienna. The response is warm but not uproarious. One member of the violin section is Louis Spohr (29).
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April 11, 1814: The Piano Trio “Archduke” op.97 by Ludwig van Beethoven (43) is performed for the first time, in the Saal des Hotels zum Römischen Kaiser, Vienna, the composer at the keyboard.
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April 11, 1814: “Germania,” the finale of a pasticcio called Die gute Nachricht, by Ludwig van Beethoven (43), is performed for the first time. The overture, a quartet “Ein Jüngling in den Besten Jahren”, duet “Kehre wieder, holde Taube”, and trio “Kommt, Freunde, blicket all hinauf” are by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (35). The work celebrates the occupation of Paris.
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May 23, 1814: The third version of Fidelio oder Die eheliche Liebe, an opera by Ludwig van Beethoven (43) to words of Sonnleithner, reworked by Treitschke, is performed for the first time, at the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna. The overture used is from Beethoven’s music for The Ruins of Athens. The Fidelio overture will not be used until 26 May. This time, the opera is a success. Franz Schubert (17) is in the audience. See 20 November 1805 and 29 March 1806.
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June 24, 1814: Un lieto brindisi, a cantata campestre by Ludwig van Beethoven (43) to words of Bondi, is performed for the first time, in Vienna, to honor the name day of Giovanni Malfatti.
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July 18, 1814: Austrian Foreign Minister Prince von Metternich returns to Vienna from London. Singers and players from the city’s theatre perform a cantata beneath his office window, along with the overture to The Creatures of Prometheus by Ludwig van Beethoven (44).
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August 5, 1814: Ludwig van Beethoven’s (43) Elegischer Gesang “Sanft wie du lebtest” is performed for the first time, in the house of Baron Johann von Pasqualati, Vienna.
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October 28, 1814: By command of Emperor Franz, Ludwig van Beethoven’s (43) Fidelio is performed for delegates to the Congress of Vienna and their wives.
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November 29, 1814: A concert of music by Ludwig van Beethoven (43) is given for the participants in the Congress of Vienna in the Redoutensaal. This performance features the Symphony no.7, Wellington’s Victory and the premiere of his cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick to words of Weissenbach. Attenders include Emperor Franz of Austria, Tsar Alyeksandr, King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, King Frederik VI of Denmark, King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, and the Prince of Sicily. Also attending is Jan Václav Tomásek (40), who is particularly displeased with Wellington’s Victory. Reports of the performance and the audience reaction end up in the files of the Austrian Secret Police.
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December 31, 1814: During a dinner in honor of Tsar Alyeksandr, with 700 guests, the Vienna palace of Russian ambassador Count Andrei Kyrillovich Razumovsky is destroyed by fire. Hundreds of art works, meticulously collected by him, are forever lost. Two people, trying to save embassy documents, are killed. The count will return to Russia, thus depriving Ludwig van Beethoven (44) of one of his most important patrons.
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January 18, 1815: After three years of accusations, recriminations and demands, Ludwig van Beethoven (44) reaches an agreement with the estate of Prince Kinsky. He will be paid part of his promised annuity and all the money not paid since the devaluation. His second setting of An die Hoffnung op.94 will be dedicated to Princess Kinsky for her graciousness and understanding.
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January 25, 1815: Ludwig van Beethoven (44) plays the piano at a concert to celebrate the birthday of the Tsarina at the Congress of Vienna. He accompanies the vocalist Franz Wild before a glittering royal audience. It is his last public performance as pianist.
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March 26, 1815: The estate of Prince Kinsky resumes annuity payments to Ludwig van Beethoven (44).
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April 19, 1815: Prince Lobkowitz agrees to pay his share of the annual stipend to Ludwig van Beethoven (44) at the new rate, as the composer has demanded.
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June 9, 1815: Publication of the Piano Sonata op.90 by Ludwig van Beethoven (44) is announced.
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July 15, 1815: Es ist vollbracht, the finale of a pasticcio called Die Ehrenpforten, by Ludwig van Beethoven (44), is performed for the first time.
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November 22, 1815: The Imperial and Royal Landrechte of Lower Austria appoints Johanna van Beethoven guardian of her son Karl and Ludwig van Beethoven (44) co-guardian.
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November 28, 1815: Ludwig van Beethoven (44) petitions the Imperial Royal Landrechte (court for nobility and clergy) of Lower Austria to take full guardianship of his nephew Karl. See 9 January 1816.
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December 20, 1815: Ludwig van Beethoven (44) provides evidence to the court in Vienna why he should be given sole custody over his nephew.
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December 25, 1815: Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt, a cantata by Ludwig van Beethoven (45) to words of Goethe, is performed for the first time, in the Großer Redoutensaal, Vienna along with the premiere of his overture Namensfeier.
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January 9, 1816: Ludwig van Beethoven (45) wins custody of his nephew in opposition to the boy’s mother. See 28 November 1815.
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February 21, 1816: Ludwig van Beethoven (45) obtains a court order forbidding his late brother’s wife Johanna from visiting her son at boarding school.
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December 15, 1816: On the eve of his 46th birthday, Ludwig van Beethoven suffers the death of one of his most important patrons, Prince Franz Joseph Lobkowitz.
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November 12, 1817: Within a month of his arrival in Lexington, Kentucky, Anton Philipp Heinrich (36) directs a concert of music by notable composers including Mozart (†25), Haydn (†8), and Beethoven (46). Heinrich also performs solo music for violin.
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December 27, 1817: Broadwood and Sons of London send a new six-octave piano to Ludwig van Beethoven (47) in Vienna.
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January 24, 1818: Ludwig van Beethoven (47) removes his nephew from the boarding school he is now attending and places the boy in his own home with a private tutor.
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February 14, 1818: In articles appearing in Vienna journals, Ludwig van Beethoven (47) and Antonio Salieri (67) recommend the use of Johann Nepomuk Maelzel’s new contraption, the metronome.
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December 10, 1818: String Quartet op.104 by Ludwig van Beethoven (47), an arrangement of his Piano Trio op.1 no.3, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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December 11, 1818: While giving testimony in the ongoing custody battle between himself and his sister-in-law, Ludwig van Beethoven (47) lets it be known that neither he, nor his nephew Karl, is of noble birth. This puts the case out of the jurisdiction of the Landrechte and the case must be entirely retried in the commoners’ courts.
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January 11, 1819: A hearing is held in the Magistrat (commoners’ court) in Vienna concerning the guardianship of Karl van Beethoven. The court will rule that his uncle, Ludwig van Beethoven (48) should no longer be his guardian and the boy must be placed in the care of his mother until another guardian can be found.
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February 6, 1819: A Hochzeitslied ‘Auf Freunde, singt dem Gott der Ehen’ WoO105 by Ludwig van Beethoven (48) is performed for the first time.
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June 4, 1819: Archduke Rudolph, patron of Ludwig van Beethoven (48), is created Archbishop of Olmütz (Olomouc) in Moravia.
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September 17, 1819: A Vienna court accepts the resignation as guardian over Karl van Beethoven of Councillor Mathias von Tuscher and rules that Ludwig van Beethoven’s (48) nephew be placed with his mother and a court-appointed guardian, Leopold Nussböck, a city official.
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October 31, 1819: Ludwig van Beethoven (48) appeals the ruling of 17 September, placing his nephew in the custody of the boy's mother and a court-appointed guardian.
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November 4, 1819: An Austrian magistrate denies the appeal by Ludwig van Beethoven (48) to the order of 17 September.  His nephew will remain in the custody of the boy's mother and a court-appointed guardian.
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December 20, 1819: An Austrian magistrate denies a second appeal by Ludwig van Beethoven (49) to the order of 17 September.  His nephew will remain in the custody of the boy's mother and a court-appointed guardian.
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January 7, 1820: Ludwig van Beethoven (49) appeals to the Imperial Royal Court of Appeal of Lower Austria to reverse the decision of the lower court of 17 September 1819 which placed his nephew in the custody of the boy's mother and a court-appointed guardian.
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February 18, 1820: Ludwig van Beethoven (49) dates a memorandum as part of his appeal of the ruling of last 17 September. It is 48 pages long.
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March 9, 1820: One of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (49) most loyal patrons, Archduke Rudolf, is installed as a cardinal in Olmütz. The composer intended his Missa Solemnis for the occasion, but he has not finished it.
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October 25, 1821: The Kyrie and Gloria from the Missa Solemnis by Ludwig van Beethoven (50) are performed for the first time, in the Landständischer Saal, Vienna. See 7 April 1824.
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May 21, 1822: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe receives a copy of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (51) Meeresstille un glückliche Fahrt, a cantata composed to Goethe’s words. It was sent by the composer.
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October 3, 1822: A new overture and a chorus, Wo sich die Pulse, by Ludwig van Beethoven (51) are performed for the first time, for the opening of the Josephstadttheater, Vienna, conducted by the composer. They are attached to Beethoven’s Die Ruinen von Athen which has been adapted by Carl Meisl as Die Weihe des Hauses.
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November 3, 1822: Ludwig van Beethoven’s (51) Gratulations-Menuet WoO 3 is performed for the first time, in Vienna for the name day of Carl Friedrich Hensler, new director of the theatre in Josephstadt.
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November 10, 1822: At a meeting of the Philharmonic Society of London, the members vote to offer £50 to Ludwig van Beethoven (51) for a new symphony.
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December 22, 1822: Ludwig van Beethoven (52) is elected an honorary member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, Stockholm.
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December 23, 1822: Opferlied op.121b by Ludwig van Beethoven (52) is performed for the first time, in Pressburg (Bratislava).
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January 1, 1823: Ludwig van Beethoven (52) applies for the position of Imperial Court Composer.
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January 25, 1823: Ludwig van Beethoven (52) accepts a commission from Prince Galitsin for “one, two, or three new quartets.”
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March 15, 1823: Ludwig van Beethoven (52) writes to Luigi Cherubini (62), “I value your works above all other compositions…I too am enchanted whenever I hear of a new work composed by you, and I take as much interest in it as I do in my own works-in short I honor and love you.” (Jones, Beethoven, 953)
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March 19, 1823: Ludwig van Beethoven (52) presents a copy of his Missa Solemnis to his patron, Archduke Rudolph. Beethoven intended the mass for Rudolph’s elevation to Cardinal in 1820 but did not finish it in time.
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April 10, 1823: Franz Liszt (11) writes the following in Ludwig van Beethoven’s (52) conversation book, “I have often expressed the wish to Herr von Schindler to make your lofty acquaintance, and am rejoiced now to be able to do so. As I will give a concert on Sunday the 13th I most humbly beg you to grant me your exalted presence.” Contrary to Liszt’s own report, Beethoven does not attend. Now almost totally deaf, he does not appear at concerts. (approximate date)
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June 16, 1823: Publication of the Diabelli Variations by Ludwig van Beethoven (32) is announced.
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August 13, 1823: Ludwig van Beethoven (52) departs the home of Baron von Pronay at Hertzendorf, where he has been staying, for Baden.
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October 5, 1823: While in Vienna for the premiere of Euryanthe, Carl Maria von Weber (36) travels to Baden to visit Ludwig van Beethoven (52).
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January 8, 1824: Ludwig van Beethoven (53) writes a conciliatory letter to his sister-in-law, Johanna van Beethoven, offering her financial assistance.
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February 26, 1824: Ludwig van Beethoven (53) receives a petition signed by 30 musicians, publishers, and other admirers, pleading with him to put on a performance of his newest works.
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March 31, 1824: Franz Schubert (27) writes to Leopold Kupelweiser that he is “the most wretched and unhappy creature in the world.” He despairs over his health which “will never be right again,” his hopes which “have come to nothing” and his “passion for beauty” which “threatens to forsake” him. “...every night, when I go to bed, I hope I may not wake again, and every morning only recalls yesterday’s grief.” He also writes, “The latest news in Vienna is that Beethoven (53) is to give a concert at which he is to produce his new symphony, three movements from the new mass, and a new overture…” (Sachs, 13)
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April 7, 1824: Mass in D “Missa Solemnis” for soloists, chorus and orchestra by Ludwig van Beethoven (53) is performed completely for the first time, in St. Petersburg. See 25 October 1821.
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May 1, 1824: Ludwig van Beethoven (53) takes a room for the summer in Penzing, but he will leave after three weeks claiming that people on a nearby footbridge always stare at him while he is shaving.
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May 6, 1824: At the last rehearsal for the premiere of his Symphony no.9, Ludwig van Beethoven (53) stands at the stage door and embraces every one of the participants as they pass.
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May 7, 1824: The Symphony no.9 “choral” for soloists, chorus and orchestra by Ludwig van Beethoven (53) to words of Schiller is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna. At the conclusion of the work, the crowd bursts into uproarious applause, including stamping of feet and waving. Caroline Unger, the alto soloist, turns the composer around to view the spectacle because he cannot hear it. In the audience is a very interested Franz Schubert (27). The journal Cäcilia will number this among the most important dates in the history of music.
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March 6, 1825: String Quartet op.127 by Ludwig van Beethoven (54) is performed for the first time, in Vienna. It is not a success.
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May 10, 1825: The earthly remains of Antonio Salieri are laid to rest in Matzleinsdorf Cemetery, Vienna attended by all court musicians and many other musical figures. (not Beethoven (54) who has moved to Baden for his health)
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September 2, 1825: At a dinner party at the residence of Ludwig van Beethoven (54) in Baden, the composer writes a canon for Friedrich Kuhlau on the BACH theme, Kühl, nicht lau WoO191.
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September 9, 1825: String Quartet op.132 by Ludwig van Beethoven (54) is performed for the first time, privately, in Vienna. See 6 November 1825.
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October 15, 1825: Ludwig van Beethoven (54) moves into his last residence, the Schwarzspanierhaus in Vienna.
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November 6, 1825: String Quartet op.132 by Ludwig van Beethoven (54) is performed publicly for the first time, in Vienna. See 9 September 1825.
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November 29, 1825: Ludwig van Beethoven (54) is elected an honorary member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna.
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March 21, 1826: String Quartet op.130 (with the Grosse Fuge) by Ludwig van Beethoven (55) is performed for the first time, in Vienna. The response is mixed. See 22 April 1827.
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September 28, 1826: Ludwig van Beethoven (55), his brother Johann and their nephew Karl travel to Johann’s country property at Gneixendorf near Krems. The composer is ill.
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December 1, 1826: 0300 After an intense, bitter argument with his brother Johann at Gneixendorf, Ludwig van Beethoven (55) demands to be conveyed back to Vienna. When Johann tells his brother that he only has an open cart available, Ludwig demands that he get it. Ludwig and his brother begin the journey back to Vienna.
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December 2, 1826: Ludwig van Beethoven (55) arrives back in Vienna with his nephew Karl from his brother Johann’s place at Gneixendorf near Krems. They have spent the night in a cold inn and the composer has become very ill. Upon arrival, a doctor is summoned.
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December 5, 1826: Dr. Andreas Wawruch visits Ludwig van Beethoven (55) and diagnoses an inflammation of the lungs. The doctor will visit the composer daily through 14 December.
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December 12, 1826: Dr. Wawruch is much alarmed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s (55) condition and orders surgery to remove abdominal fluids.
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December 20, 1826: Ludwig van Beethoven (56) undergoes surgery in his Vienna home to remove abdominal fluids, the first of four such operations.
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January 8, 1827: Ludwig van Beethoven (56) undergoes a second operation to remove excess abdominal fluid.
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February 2, 1827: Ludwig van Beethoven (56) undergoes a third operation to remove excess abdominal fluid.
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February 20, 1827: Two works by Felix Mendelssohn (18) are performed for the first time, in Stettin (Szczecin), conducted by Carl Loewe (30): Concerto in A flat for two pianos and orchestra and the Overture “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”  The composer plays one piano in the concerto and conducts the overture. His music is a great success but is overshadowed by the second half of the program, the Symphony no. 9 of Ludwig van Beethoven (56), performed for the first time in northern Germany. Mendelssohn plays first violin. (The concerto could have been performed earlier, at a family concert in Berlin.)
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February 27, 1827: Ludwig van Beethoven (56) undergoes a fourth operation to remove abdominal fluids.
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March 8, 1827: A day after arriving in Vienna on a concert tour, Johann Nepomuk Hummel (48) visits the home of his close friend, Ludwig van Beethoven (56), now on his deathbed.
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March 13, 1827: Johann Nepomuk Hummel (48) visits Ludwig van Beethoven (56) on his deathbed, one of four visits by Hummel this month. They share a glass of wine.
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March 19, 1827: A group of Viennese music-lovers, including Franz Schubert (30), visit the ailing Ludwig van Beethoven (56) on his deathbed. For the two composers, who have shared the same city for the last 30 years, it is their first and only meeting.
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March 20, 1827: Johann Nepomuk Hummel (48) and his wife Elisabeth visit Ludwig van Beethoven (48) on his deathbed. Beethoven can only speak in whispers.
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March 23, 1827: With great difficulty, Ludwig van Beethoven (56) signs a will. He leaves his entire estate to his nephew Karl. During the final visit of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (48), Beethoven tells him that he expects death soon.
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March 24, 1827: Ludwig van Beethoven (56) receives the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church. In the evening he loses consciousness.
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March 26, 1827: Late afternoon. Ludwig van Beethoven dies in his home at Schwarzspanierstraße 15 in Vienna, Empire of Austria, of liver failure caused by cirrhosis, aged 56 years, three months and ten days, and 49 years to the day after his first public performance. True to his turbulent life and the disruptive impact he will exert on the tonal art, the day is marked by a snowfall followed by a thunderstorm at the time of his passing.
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March 27, 1827: An autopsy is conducted on the body of Ludwig van Beethoven by Dr. Johann Wagner.
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March 29, 1827: A large crowd gathers around the Schwarzspanierhaus in Vienna where the body of Beethoven lies. Among the spectators are many children, as school has been cancelled for the day. The authorities feel it necessary to call in soldiers to control the large number of people. Inside, nine priests bless the body and a chorale is sung. At 15:00 the procession to the church begins. A military band plays an arrangement of Beethoven’s funeral march from the Piano Sonata op.26. 15-20,000 people watch the procession take one and a half hours to go a little more than a block to Trinity Church of the Minorities. Johann Nepomuk Hummel (48), Carl Czerny (36), and Franz Schubert (30) are among the mourners. A carriage takes the coffin to Währing Cemetery where a funeral oration by Franz Grillparzer is read by Heinrich Anschütz, and the earthly remains of Ludwig van Beethoven are laid to rest.
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April 3, 1827: A memorial service for Ludwig van Beethoven takes place in the Church of Augustinerkirche, Vienna. The Requiem of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (†35) is performed.
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April 5, 1827: A second memorial service for Ludwig van Beethoven takes place in the Karlskirche, Vienna. The Requiem of Luigi Cherubini (66) is performed.
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April 7, 1827: A concert in honor of Ludwig van Beethoven (†0) takes place in Vienna. Johann Nepomuk Hummel (48) improvises variations on the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony no.7.
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April 22, 1827: String Quartet op.130 by Ludwig van Beethoven (†0) is performed for the first time with the new ending, in Vienna. See 21 March 1826.
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November 5, 1827: The musical effects of Ludwig van Beethoven (†0), including original manuscripts, are auctioned in the Kohlmarkt, Vienna.
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February 7, 1828: The Leonore Overture no.1 by Ludwig van Beethoven (†0), apparently intended for a Prague production of Fidelio, is performed for the first time, only having come to light after the composer’s death.
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March 9, 1828: The first performance of the new Société des Concerts du Conservatoire takes place at the Paris Conservatory. The group has been formed to promote modern symphonic music, particularly Beethoven (†0). This day marks the first performance of the “Eroica” Symphony in France. It is these performances this Spring which will introduce Hector Berlioz (24) to Beethoven, to the expressive power of his music, and solidify for him the symphony as a dramatic form, capable of extra-musical associations
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March 23, 1828: String Quartet op.135 by Ludwig van Beethoven (†0) is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
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November 21, 1828: A funeral service for Franz Peter Schubert takes place in the Church of St. Joseph, Margereten in the presence of family and some friends. Franz von Schober gives the oration. Johann Baptist Gänsbacher, director of music at St. Stephen’s, leads the small church choir and some wind instrumentalists in some of his own music, along with one of Schubert. On a dark, rainy day, the mortal remains of Franz Schubert are laid to rest in Währing Cemetery, Vienna near those of Beethoven (†1).
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September 16, 1830: Aloys Fuchs, a collector of musical manuscripts, presents his new friend Felix Mendelssohn (21) with the “Wittgenstein” sketchbook of Beethoven (†3), in Vienna. It contains drafts of the Piano Sonata op.109, the Diabelli Variations and the Missa Solemnis.
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May 13, 1833: Symphony no.4 “Italian” by Felix Mendelssohn (24) is performed for the first time, in London, directed by the composer. Nicolò Paganini (50) is among the listeners. He asks Mendelssohn to play Beethoven (†6) sonatas with him. Vincenzo Bellini (31) is also there and the two composers meet. Although the London public is growing increasingly fond of Mendelssohn, the criticisms of the symphony are mixed.
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October 4, 1835: Felix Mendelssohn conducts his first performance as director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig. The program features his own Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage and the Fourth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (†8).
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November 19, 1839: Franz Liszt (28) gives the first of six recitals in Vienna, this one attended by the dowager empress. He premieres his transcription of the Symphony no.6 of Beethoven (†12). The concerts are a smashing success.
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March 17, 1840: After months of dazzling successes in Vienna, Pest, Prague, and Dresden, Franz Liszt (28) receives whistles from a Leipzig audience for his transcription of the Sixth Symphony of Beethoven (†12). Friedrich Wieck, who sees Liszt as a friend of Robert Schumann (29), has been savaging Liszt in the Leipzig newspapers. Clara (20) takes her father’s side. The Leipzigers also blame him for raising ticket prices and canceling complimentary tickets.
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August 1, 1840: Camille Saint-Saëns (4) gives his first public performance as he accompanies a Beethoven (†13) violin sonata before a small drawing-room audience in Paris.
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April 25, 1841: Hector Berlioz (37) and Franz Liszt (29) produce an all-Beethoven (†14) concert at the Salle du Conservatoire to benefit the Beethoven monument in Bonn. Liszt plays various piano sonatas and the “Emperor” Concerto, conducted by Berlioz, along with the Sixth Symphony. Unfortunately, the receipts are barely enough to pay the musicians. The audience requires Liszt to play his own Reminiscences on Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable, while Berlioz and the orchestra wait. Richard Wagner (27), reviewing the concert for the Dresden Abendzeitung, is offended. “Some day, Liszt in heaven will be summoned to play his Fantasy on The Devil before the assembled company of angels.” An aspiring cellist named Jacob (Jacques) Offenbach (21) joins forces with a visiting prodigy from Russia, Anton Rubinstein (11), to perform the second and third movements of Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in A.
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January 19, 1842: An advertisement for a new “Beethoven-Album” for piano by the Vienna music publisher Pietro Mechetti appears in the Wiener Zeitung. Intended to raise money for a monument to Beethoven (†14) in Bonn, Mechetti has secured contributions from many of the most important living composers: Nocturne in E flat op.647 by Carl Czerny (50), L’echo! Scherzo brillant by Frédéric Kalkbrenner (46), 17 Variations sérieuses op.54 by Felix Mendelssohn (32), Prélude in c sharp minor op.45 by Frédéric Chopin (31), Marche funèbre de la Symphonie héroique by Franz Liszt (30), Romance sans paroles op.41/1 by Sigismond Thalberg (30), Wiegenlied op.13/1 by Adolf von Henselt (27), as well as music by Theodor Döhler, Ignaz Moscheles and Wilhelm Taubert.
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February 5, 1842: Felix Mendelssohn (33) writes to Ferdinand David about the playing of Franz Liszt (30), “...he sacrificed a large part of my esteem by the foolish antics he plays not just with his audience (there is no harm in that) but with the music itself as well. He played Beethoven (†14), Bach (†91), Handel (†82) and Weber (†15) with such wretched shortcomings, so untidily and ignorantly, that I had much rather have heard them played by mediocre pianists.”
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May 27, 1844: At the request of Felix Mendelssohn (35), Joseph Joachim (13) makes his London debut playing the Beethoven (†17) Violin Concerto with Mendelssohn and the Philharmonic Society. Mendelssohn’s popularity was enough to overcome the Society’s ban on child prodigies.
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August 11, 1845: Today begins three days of celebrations surrounding the unveiling of the Beethoven (†18) monument in Bonn. Attenders include King Friedrich Wilhelm IV and Queen Elisabeth of Prussia, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Famous musicians include Louis Spohr (61), Giacomo Meyerbeer (53), Hector Berlioz (41), Franz Liszt (33), Pauline Viardot (24), and Jenny Lind. This evening, during dinner, a small concert is given, directed by Meyerbeer and featuring Jenny Lind.
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August 12, 1845: After a performance of the Missa Solemnis in the cathedral, directed by Louis Spohr (61), the Beethoven (†18) Monument is unveiled in Bonn before royal and musical guests and a multitude of onlookers.
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April 5, 1846: Richard Wagner (32) conducts the Symphony no.9 of Ludwig van Beethoven (†19) in Dresden.  It is a critical and financial smash hit.
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April 1, 1849: Richard Wagner (35) conducts his last concert in Dresden in a performance including the Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (†22). Michael Bukunin, a wanted Russian revolutionary, approaches Wagner afterwards and tells him that “when everything else is destroyed in the flames of the future, that work of art must be preserved, even at the cost of our lives.”
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April 14, 1849: Johannes Brahms (15) gives a second piano recital, in Hamburg playing music of Beethoven (†22), Thalberg (37), and himself. It earns him his first notices—favorable ones.
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January 15, 1850: Richard Wagner (36) begins guest conducting the Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft, Zürich with a performance of the Symphony no.7 of Beethoven (†22).
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January 10, 1853: Jules Massenet (10) is examined once again for entrance to the Paris Conservatoire. He plays a Beethoven (†25) sonata and is admitted to a piano class. See 9 October 1851.
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December 17, 1858: Franz Liszt (47) conducts an all-Beethoven (†31) concert in Weimar, his last performance as Kapellmeister in that city. He receives a standing ovation.
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October 13, 1863: The remains of Franz Schubert (†34) are exhumed and examined in Vienna. The biographer, Heinrich Kreissle von Hellborn reports that “His round, plump, somewhat swollen face; the low forehead; the pouting lips; bushy eyebrows; the stumpy nose; and the curly hair gave his head a moorish appearance...His stature was below medium size, rounded back and shoulders, the arms and hands plump, the fingers short.” The body of Ludwig van Beethoven (†35) is also exhumed.
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November 15, 1863: The Vienna Singakademie gives its first concert under the direction of Johannes Brahms (30). The eclectic program includes Viennese premieres of the Cantata no.21 of Johann Sebastian Bach (†113), Requiem für Mignon by Robert Schumann (†7) as well as works by Isaac (†346) and Beethoven (†36) and folksong arrangements. It is well received.
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March 11, 1869: The funeral in memory of Hector Berlioz takes place at L’Église de la Trinité, Paris. The procession to the church is led by Adolphe Sax who directs the National Guard band in Berlioz’ Symphonie funèbre. Illustrious attenders include Daniel Auber (87), Ambroise Thomas (57), and Charles Gounod (50). The music features works of Christoph Willibald Gluck (†81), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (†77), Ludwig van Beethoven (†41), Luigi Cherubini (†26), and the Hostias from Berlioz’ own Requiem. The mortal remains of Louis-Hector Berlioz are laid to rest in Montmartre next to those of his two wives, Harriet Smithson and Marie Recio.
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May 22, 1872: On his 59th birthday, in a driving rain, Richard Wagner lays the cornerstone for the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Later, in the town’s opera house, Wagner speaks on how he envisions the building and then conducts a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (†45) Symphony no.9 in celebration. There is an enormous banquet. Friedrich Nietzsche, who accompanies Wagner, will write, “Everything that had happened up to now was a preparation for this moment.”
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April 14, 1885: Ferruccio Busoni (19) gives his first performance in Berlin, playing Bach (†134), Beethoven (†58), and his own music.
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May 19, 1886: Symphony no.3 op.78 by Camille Saint-Saëns (50) is performed for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London conducted by the composer. In the same program, Saint-Saëns plays the Piano Concerto no.4 by Ludwig van Beethoven (†59) conducted by Arthur Sullivan (44).
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June 21, 1888: The remains of Ludwig van Beethoven (†61) are exhumed from the Währinger Cemetery and reinterred in the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna. Among those witnessing the event is Anton Bruckner (63).
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April 20, 1890: Enrique Granados (22) makes his official debut at Barcelona’s Teatre Líric, premiering Arabesca, selections from Danzas españolas, and Serenata española. He also plays music of Saint-Saëns (54), Bizet (†14), Mendelssohn (†42), Chopin (†40), Beethoven (†63), Mozart (†98), and Schubert (†61). The critics are enthusiastic about his compositions and his playing.
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May 1, 1892: Béla Bartók (11) makes his first appearance as pianist and composer, at a charity concert for the town of Nagyszöllös (Vinogradov, Ukraine), 300 km northeast of Budapest. Bártok plays the premiere of his The Course of the Danube as well as the first movement of the Waldstein Sonata of Beethoven (†65).
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April 15, 1894: Alfredo Casella (10) makes his public debut, playing the keyboard part in a Beethoven (†57) piano trio, in Turin.
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April 6, 1897: After an elaborate funeral in the Protestant church of Vienna, including many musical figures from throughout Europe and thousands of mourners, the earthly remains of Johannes Brahms are laid to rest in the Zentral Friedhof of Vienna near those of Beethoven (†70) and Schubert (†68). In Hamburg, the composer’s birthplace, ships lower their flags to half-mast.
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November 9, 1897: Enrique Granados (30) appears with the new Philharmonic Society as pianist at the Sala Estela, Barcelona. He will make more than 25 appearances with them. He performs the Beethoven (†70) Trio op.70/1 with Mathieu Crickboom, violin and Pablo Casals (21), cello.
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November 6, 1898: Gustav Mahler (38) conducts his first performance with the Vienna Philharmonic, a program of Beethoven (†71) and Mozart (†106). At first lukewarm, the audience is very pleased by the end.
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June 6, 1899: The cortege carrying the body of Johann Strauss travels from his house in Ingelgaße, past the Theater an der Wien, the Musikverein, and the court opera. His mortal remains are laid to rest in the Zentralfriedhof near those of Beethoven (†72), Schubert (†70) and Brahms (†2). Among the mourners is Gustav Mahler (38).
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February 24, 1903: After a funeral at the Votivkirche, the body of Hugo Wolf is laid to rest in the Vienna Central Cemetery near the graves of Schubert (†74) and Beethoven (†73). Among those attending are Anton Webern (19) and Alban Berg (18).
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April 10, 1904: During the performance of a Beethoven (†77) symphony in the Cirque d’été, Paris, Erik Satie (37) exchanges words with his arch-enemy, the critic Henri Gauthier-Villars (pseud. Willy). Not satisfied with the responses he is receiving, Satie begins to beat Willy, who responds with his walking stick. The composer is removed to a nearby police station.
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January 6, 1910: Ferruccio Busoni (43) performs the Emperor Concerto of Ludwig van Beethoven (†82) with the New York Philharmonic directed by Gustav Mahler (49).
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May 7, 1916: A memorial concert for Enrique Granados (†0) is given at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York conducted by Walter Damrosch. The Beethoven (†89) Trio in B flat is played by Ignacy Paderewski, Fritz Kreisler, and Pablo Casals. Singers include Maria Barrientos, Julia Culp, and John McCormack. Granados’ Dolora en la meno for voice and piano is performed for the first time. Casals will remember that “toward the end of the concert all the lights were turned out. A candle was placed on the piano. Then, with that solitary flame flickering on the stage in the great hall, Paderewski played Chopin’s Funeral March.”
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May 29, 1922: Ferruccio Busoni (56) performs in public for the last time when he appears as soloist in the Emperor Concerto of Beethoven (†95) in Berlin.
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November 30, 1958: The television series Lincoln Presents Leonard Bernstein (40) and the New York Philharmonic begins with a performance of the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven (†187).
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December 17, 1969: Kurzwellen mit Beethoven (Stockhoven-BeethausenOpus1970), a realization of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s (41) Kurzwellen with music of Beethoven, is performed for the first time, in Düsseldorf. See 5 May 1968.
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February 14, 1974: Several articles appear in China commenting on Ottorino Respighi’s (†37) Pines of Rome, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra in Peking last September. It is criticized as a “bourgeois work,” “weird and bizarre,” and indicative of the “nasty, rotten life and decadent sentiments.” Beethoven (†146) and Schubert (†145) are also attacked.
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May 17, 2002: A one-page draft of the Symphony no.9 by Ludwig van Beethoven (†175), dating from 1818, is auctioned in London for £1,300,000.
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May 22, 2003: £2,130,000 is paid by an anonymous buyer for the working manuscript of the Symphony no.9 by Ludwig van Beethoven (†176) at a Sotheby’s auction in London.