Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December, and while the exact date of his birth is not known, that has not kept the world from celebrating his life and work for the 250th anniversary of his birth in 2020. Published to coincide with this momentous moment—and available in English for the first time—the internationally bestselling Beethoven, A Life is endorsed by and produced in close collaboration with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
Written by conductor and musicologist Jan Caeyers, one of Europe’s preeminent experts on Beethoven, the authoritative Beethoven biography paints a complex portrait of the musical genius who redefined the musical style of his day and went on to become one of the great pillars of Western art music.
“Any biography of Beethoven is in fact a portrait of the universal artist, and demonstrates that the most fascinating careers are never straightforward. Granted, the young Beethoven was incredibly talented, but his genius was the result of the determination and imagination with which he responded to the obstacles in his path. In this sense, he is the prototypical modern citizen who, regardless of background or origin, can take control of their life in order to achieve greatness.
“Beethoven also left an important legacy that can be interpreted as a spiritual missive: the notion that striving for excellence in Beauty is what enables humankind to rise above the brutal and materialistic nature of reality, and in so doing, to give individual meaning to existence. In this sense, engaging with Beethoven—both his life and his music—is a source of inspiration to us all.”—Jan Caeyers, author of Beethoven, A Life