Ludwig Van Beethoven
By: Rikki Bush
In 1801, Beethoven confides to a couple of trusted friends that he is experiencing deafness. By 1818, he is totally deaf. Beethoven had long wanted to set the poet Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” to music. In 1823, he finally accomplishes that goal by finishing the Ninth Symphony. It is first performed on May 7, 1824, conducted by Beethoven. Though Beethoven is beset with illness in his last years, he composes a final series of five string quartets in 1822-26.