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The visit was cut short when, after a short time, Beethoven received the news of his mother’s death.According to tradition, Mozart was highly impressed with Beethoven’s powers of improvisation and told some friends that “this young man will make a great name for himself in the world”; no reliable account of Beethoven’s first trip to Vienna survives, however.
Although his deafness did not become total until 1819, the first symptoms of the impairment manifested before 1800.
Early on, Beethoven reported hearing buzzing and ringing in his ears.
It was Beethoven’s grandfather who had first settled in Bonn when he became a singer in the choir of the archbishop-elector of Cologne; he eventually rose to become Kappellmeister.
His son Johann was also a singer in the electoral choir; thus, like most 18th-century musicians, Beethoven was born into the profession.
After their meeting, Mozart reportedly said of Beethoven, “This young man will make a great name for himself in the world.” Three years later, composer Joseph Haydn “discovered” Beethoven, who was then a viola player in the Bonn orchestra, and took him under his wing. He took with him several musical souvenirs, including the sudden pianos, unexpected outbursts, and “Mannheim rockets” typical of the Bonn orchestra.
These elements feature prominently in Beethoven’s later work.When in 1780 Joseph II became sole ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, he appointed his brother Maximilian Francis as adjutant and successor-designate to the archbishop-elector of Cologne.Under Maximilian’s rule, Bonn was transformed from a minor provincial town into a thriving and cultured capital city.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!His personal life was marked by a heroic struggle against encroaching deafness, and some of his most important works were composed during the last 10 years of his life when he was quite unable to hear.In an age that saw the decline of court and church patronage, he not only maintained himself from the sale and publication of his works but also was the first musician to receive a salary with no duties other than to compose how and when he felt inclined.A liberal Roman Catholic, he endowed Bonn with a university, limited the power of his own clergy, and opened the city to the full tide of the German literary renaissance associated with Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, and the young Goethe and Schiller.A sign of the times was the nomination as court organist of Christian Gottlob Neefe, a Protestant from Saxony, who became Beethoven’s teacher.Later he disclosed “that from a distance I do not hear the high notes of the instruments and the singers’ voices.” Beethoven’s hearing loss didn’t stop him from composing music, though.He continued to write music well into the later years of his life.