Ludwig Van Beethoven

1770-1827. German composer. His extraordinary gifts were early recognized by Neefe, the cathedral organist in Bonn, who permitted the boy to deputize at the organ, guided his early efforts at composition, and introduced him to some of Bach's* music. In early manhood Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he soon attained fame as a pianist and composer. Before he was thirty he started losing his hearing, but he persevered to become one of the greatest instrumental composers of the nineteenth century. While he cannot be classed as a church composer, he wrote some very outstanding sacred compositions: six sacred songs to texts by the Christian poet Gellert; an oratorio, Christ on the Mount of Olives, from which the “Hallelujah” chorus is often performed; the Mass in C, a fine example of the classical symphonic Mass; and the Missa solemnis, one of the most monumental choral works of all time.