Celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven's 245th Year

Celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven's 245th Year

Ludwig van Beethoven was a famous German composer whose works are still widely heard and performed. Despite the deterioration of his hearing in his 30s and becoming almost totally deaf in the last decade of his life, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers, and is considered to be a predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. We celebrate his 245th birthday today.

The truth is, there is no authentic record of the date of his birth. Most have relied on the registry of his baptism, in a Roman Catholic service at the Parish of St. Regius on 17 December 1770, combined with the practice that children of that era were traditionally baptised the day after birth in the Catholic Rhine country, and Beethoven's family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger celebrating his birthday on 16 December; to conclude that his birth date is 16 December 1770.

Moonlight Sonata before a dip in the Rhine

Google has marked the occasion with a commemorative Doodle challenging visitors to put together the composer's finest creations. Visiting the Google homepage begins an interactive story in which you must put together Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Für Elise, Moonlight Sonata and Ode to Joy. On his way to the concert hall, a run of bad luck sees Beethoven sees his compositions destroyed in various ways, and you have to arrange sheet music in the correct order to reach the finale.

"Today provided us a rare opportunity to construct a game in step with beautiful music, whose evocative moods, drama, lightness, and depth made conjuring visuals to match it rollickingly fun. Here’s to one of history’s greatest artists, and to hoping that, wherever you happen to be traveling this holiday, your life’s work isn’t eaten by a horse.", said Google.