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Challenges of a Genius. My Letter to Ludwig Van Beethoven

Piano teacher extraordinaire, Audrey Hunt, dedicates her life to educating others and performing piano classics.

Beethoven, One Of The Greatest Composers The World Has Ever Known

Ludwig Van Beethoven began to experience hearing loss in 1798.  In spite of his deafness he started producing volumes of music.

Ludwig Van Beethoven began to experience hearing loss in 1798. In spite of his deafness he started producing volumes of music.

" There is no real intelligence without kindness.

I don't recognize another greatness other than kindness." Ludwig Van Beethoven

My Letter To Ludwig Van Beethoven Master Of Music

Dear Ludwig Van Beethoven,

I must have been about 10 years old when I first heard your Symphony No.9. This is also when I first discovered that you, one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time, lived through endless, exhausting challenges. These are not musical challenges I'm referring to, but personal and devastating physical challenges.

Even at a young age, my adoration for you gave birth, and I knew that I would be connected to you forever. The musical sounds that encased my very being were created by you, dear Ludwig Van Beethoven, my master of music. My heart became yours at that very moment.

Yearning to learn more about you, I wore out my piano teacher during my lessons, asking one question after the other. She tried to fill my hungry, prying, need as best she could. The small spurts of facts that she shared with me only made me that much more determined to seek out all that I possibly could about you, the man, and the composer.

Each day, after school, I hurried to the small, musty, library. Excitement arose within me at the thought of losing myself in one book, followed by another.

Each one described your life experiences and the challenges you were expected to live with and ultimately conquer. Like an arrow piercing my heart, drops of blood came in the form of tiny tears.

My heart ached with pain as my eyes scanned page after page:

  • The physical and emotional abuse from your father.
  • The high price you paid for your musical genius.
  • The tormenting love for your nephew.
  • How you impressed the great Mozart without the joy of hearing his praise.
  • Going deaf, the struggles and great embarrassment this caused you.
  • Letters to your "Immortal Beloved."
  • Your anger and great disappointment in General Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • The death of your mother.
  • The poor health plaguing you all your life.

How I wish this could all have been avoided; but these experiences, no matter how painful, made you the person you are. Not were - but are, for you are still present and alive in every magnificent piano Sonata as well as your brilliant and timeless Symphonies.

Beethoven at age 13

13 year old Beethoven.

13 year old Beethoven.

Author Edmond Morris, Pulitzer Prize Winner

Numerous books have been written about you, dear Beethoven. I have read "Thayer's" enormous biography about you as well as the book "Beethoven" by Edmund Morris. It may interest you to know that Morris spent a half-century studying your life and musical works. He also won the Pulitzer Prize for writing "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt."

Morris, the author of three bestselling presidential biographies and a lifetime devotee of yourself, Beethoven, illuminates your life with sensitivity and insight.

"A True Artist Has No Pride" - Ludwig Van Beethoven

Dearest Ludwig, your music envelopes my soul as it transcends me to another sphere. How can anyone not love you, the man, the composer of such glorious sounds of noble and expansive emotions? Even the angels bow to your magnificence.

Do you realize that the world is a better place because of you? Your music has brought hope to the masses and inspired many to become better people, including me. On July 17, 1812, you wrote to Emilie M., a fellow musician, " A true artist has no pride." These words have had an impact on me throughout my life.

Oh, how I marvel at your accomplishments in spite of your suffering with deafness and bipolar disorder. It breaks my heart that as you became older, the bipolar disease increased leaving you depressed and considering suicide.

If only I could have been by your side to comfort you during those times.

Deafness Could Not Deter Beethoven From Composing Music

Portrait byJoseph Karl Stieler, 1820.  Published in the U.S. before 1923 and public domain in the U.S.

Portrait byJoseph Karl Stieler, 1820. Published in the U.S. before 1923 and public domain in the U.S.

Composing the Fifth and Ninth Symphonies On The Other Side Of Silence.

Oh, dear Ludwig ( forgive me for being too personal,) your deafness became so severe that people found conversing with you exhausting. One had to shout so loudly that it could be heard three rooms away. This is when you began to avoid the stares of strangers. They did not see what I see in you. Your clamped lips and wrenched chin, your terrible frown and your eyes looking downcast are all they saw. But I know the pain and frustration that encompassed you.

Your struggle against this progressive, incurable deafness included how much you wanted to keep this a secret. How can a composer create music when he cannot hear? Yet you produced such towering masterpieces such as the Fifth and Ninth symphonies. (As author Edmond Morris described, "on the other side of silence.")

I love the story of how you sawed the legs off of your piano and placed the piano on the floor, and then pressed your ear to the floor to hear the vibrations.

Brilliant! A lesson in persistence. Even your deafness and depression could not stop you from composing.


Beethoven's Abuse From The Hands Of His Father

Your childhood was tragic. You suffered abuse from your father Johann Van Beethoven. He made it a habit to slam the piano keys cover on your little knuckles whenever you made a mistake. And he would wake you up in the middle of the night by hitting you in the head in order to get you to play the piano.

Not only were you beaten almost daily, you were also locked up in the cellar. Your father would see to it that you rarely slept.

You loved your mother, Maria Magdelene van Beethoven, and when she died during your teen years, you were devastated. This, coming from a boy who was neglected by his mother, never washing him or dressing him properly. But I suppose when comparing your mother's treatment to your fathers, your mothers would indeed seem like love.

Bach's Well Tempered Clavier

Johann Sebastian Bach became a revelation to you as you perfected his difficult preludes and fugues. What a lesson in counterpoint these challenging masterpieces offer. I have only been able to play three of the 24 preludes and fugues well. My attempt to master even one of Bach's Inventions has taken me many months of practice.

From the beginning of your childhood, your amazing gift for improvisation surprised others. Your father, however, did not approve of this and he regularly punished you for your ability to improvise on any musical piece placed before you. How sad this is. Shame on your father!

Developing Musical Skills Through Beethoven's Works

Your immortal Moonlight Sonata is unlike any music ever written. Your insistent theme emerges from silence, almost inaudibly in the beginning, as if you were testing the limits of your once-phenomenal hearing. You even made note that both pedals of the piano should be held down nonstop which exaggerates the sonority and reverberation of sound.

As empty octaves move with extreme slowness, the quiet undulations of C-sharp minor succeed one another while their overtones are mixing and dissolving. Please listen to the young lady featured in the video, doing her best to pay attention to your notes for interpretation.

I wonder if you know to what degree you've influenced the lives of pianists both the young and the old. These are some of my thoughts on this:

  • Practice skills are elevated as pianists strive for excellence
  • The passion of those determined to overcome difficult passages in your music empowers pianists to make their mark.
  • Personal development and growth elevates confidence and aligns the mind and spirit.
  • Humility is instilled within the student. Just when one begins to pride himself on mastering great leaps and difficult passages, there are more to come.
  • We learn to develop an extended appreciation for all arts and for other artists.
  • We develop personal skills such as patience, discipline, and even integrity.
  • Your works have been a learning library for other composers riding high on your genius.
  • A remarkable capacity to bring inspiration is activated through classical music.

There is more to be added to this list. Bringing unlimited joy to all ages through your symphonies, sonatas, chamber compositions and choral cantatas may give you some idea of your unlimited contribution to mankind.

Moonlight Sonata - Piano

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op 27 No. 2 - The Moonlight Sonata

Your Moonlight Sonata, known as Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Quasi una fantasia,” was completed in 1801 and is one of the most popular sonatas in all of your compositions. But could you not have chosen another key for this magical composition? I have never liked the key of C# minor which causes me to practice this scale until my fingers hurt. (Or perhaps it is my pride that hurts.)

You would be upset to learn that your most famous piano piece has been transposed into easier keys such as A minor, and D minor for beginning pianists. Ah, however, the original key of C# minor blending the rich overtones within this scale cannot be duplicated.

It was the sound of Chopin-specifically his Nocturne in the same key, right down to the minor ninths. The astounding thing is, you composed the Moonlight Sonata ten years before Chopin was born!

Generations to come would be indebted to the Brunswick family for allowing you to compose this beautiful sonata. It was in the year 1802 that this masterpiece was dedicated to your student and love, 17-year-old Countess Giulietta Gucciardi in Hungary.

You had no intention of connecting this musical theme to moonlight or romance. In fact, you were sitting with a friend, as he was dying prematurely when this motif found its way to your mind and heart.

The idea of moonlight came from the remarks of the German poet and music critic, Rellstab. It was in the year 1832, five years after your death, that Rellstab thought the first movement sounded like moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne. During the nineteenth century, it became known as the Moonlight Sonata and still goes by that name today. I do hope you are not offended by this turn of events.

What I wouldn't give to be sitting next to your piano and observing your own interpretation of the Moonlight Sonata. Perhaps one day we will meet, somewhere in another life. Do you think this is might be a possibility?

Oh, how I pray it is.

Mozart's Prediction For Beethoven

Do you remember the following event? You were taken to Mozart and at that musician's request, played something for him which he, taking it for granted that it was a showpiece prepared for the occasion, praised in somewhat a cool manner. You knew you had abilities beyond the praise you received from the great Mozart. Filled with excitement at the prospect of showing what you can really do when left to play with total freedom, you begged Mozart to give you a theme to improvise on.

You were brilliant beyond any pianist this famous and well-respected genius had ever heard. The musical master became more impressed as your capable hands flew over the piano keys, giving birth to one note after the other. With this, Mozart went into an adjoining room where a few friends were sitting. "Keep your eyes on him; someday he (Beethoven) will give the world something to talk about."

Beethoven's Sonatas Reveal Passion

Author, Audrey Hunt, plays Beethoven in Nashville Tennessee.

Author, Audrey Hunt, plays Beethoven in Nashville Tennessee.

Premier of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony And His Deafness

I am brought to tears when I read the story of your attendance to the premiere of your 9th Symphony on May 7, 1824. You couldn't hear a note of this stunning masterpiece that you alone created because of your deafness. It was the first time in twelve years you sat on a stage and your back was to the audience. You gazed at the orchestra, choir, and soloists.

As you sat in your chair, beating time to the conductor's movements, you didn't know how your massive audience responded to your 9th Symphony. Then a soloist, Caroline Unger, took your arm and faced you toward the crowd. You couldn't hear the roaring approval, however, you saw the clapping hands and smiling faces of an exuberant crowd. As you bowed deeply to the crowd, it was then that you began to cry.

Although you didn't make much money from this concert, the reviews were spectacular. I hope you embraced full joy because you deserved it.

My Birthday Gift - Thank You My Son

On February 22, 2011, my son, Randy, surprised me with an unforgettable birthday gift. The Nashville Tennessee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus were presenting your Ninth Symphony to a sold-out house. As Randy approached the ticket window he asked for two of the best seats in the house which I'm sure must have cost him 2 weeks salary. As you remember, even professional musicians are dreadfully underpaid.

The only tickets left were two seats on the third balcony in the very back row and these seats weren't together. Randy accepted them and told me not to be disappointed because he had a plan. Yep - this is my son. He always finds a way to achieve his dream.

We were led to our seats, sat down, and I longingly looked at the empty seats in the orchestra section located on the main floor. As the 'late-comers' were seated in their reserved section, which is the best in the house, Randy stood up, grabbed my hand and said, "follow me, mom."

We literally ran down three flights of stairs to the main floor. In just minutes the concert would be starting and the first violinist would be tuning the orchestra to the musical sound of "A." Without knowing what my son had in mind I obediently followed him to the third-row-center where he gallantly seated first myself, then himself in the best section and seats-in-the-house.

So you see dear Ludwig, your music even influences the younger generation in such a way that those like my son become heroes to their mothers.

Location - Schermerhorn Symphony Center


Nashville Tn.

My Favorite Sculpture of Beethoven Sits on my Piano

This bronze sculpture rests on my grand piano inspiring me to practice the masters' 32 piano sonatas.

This bronze sculpture rests on my grand piano inspiring me to practice the masters' 32 piano sonatas.

A Little Bit of the 'Testament of Heiligenstadt' (1802)

"Oh you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you. From childhood on my heart and soul have been full of the tender feeling of goodwill, and I was ever inclined to
accomplish great things. [...] With joy I hasten to meet death. -If it comes before I have had the chance to develop all my artistic capacities, it will still be coming too soon despite my harsh fate, and I should probably wish it later - yet even so I should be happy, for would it not free me from a state of
endless suffering? - Come when thou wilt, I shall meet thee bravely. - Farewell and do not wholly forget me when I am dead [...]"

We thank this noble endeavor which was called Ludwig van Beethoven, which continues to rejoice us more and more ...

I am a servant of humanity.

Ludwig van Beethoven

In Closing - Immortal Beloved

I can think of no better way to close my letter to you, dearest Ludwig Van Beethoven, than by using your own precious words found in a letter you wrote to your immortal beloved, Countess Josephine Von Brunswick, known as Josephine Deym :

"... I hope that wherever I happen to be, your image will always follow me - as it is the whole course of my life ..."

Audrey Kerr Hunt



The Universal Composer Beethoven by Edmund Morris - Harper Collins Publisher





Interesting facts about the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Thank You My Readers

Thank you for being here to share my letter to Ludwig Van Beethoven. So much more can be written about this genius and the challenges he endured. I welcome your thoughts and comments and look forward to each one.

Audrey Hunt

© 2015 Audrey Hunt


Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 07, 2019:


Thank you kindly for reading this article and taking time to respond. I'm thrilled to learn about both of your books. I'll order them right away and looking forward to reading your works.

Happy New Year!

LLHolt on January 07, 2019:

Thank you so much for this beautiful Web site, Audrey. You may be interested in my novel about Beethoven's early years in Vienna, "The Black Spaniard" ( at amazon.com and bn.com) but mostly my novel "Invictus" about his triumphs and struggles up to age 16 to be published in May 2019 by Harvard Square Editions. Thank you for spreading the word about the great Beethoven!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 26, 2017:


I'm happy to know that my article about Beethoven helped you with your project. How nice for you to share this with me. Thank you.

Malaika on July 05, 2017:

It helped me in my project......


Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on February 04, 2017:


Beethoven's late quartets are magnificent! They do indeed nourish the soul. Thanks for your excellent comments.

Frances Metcalfe from The Limousin, France on February 04, 2017:

Beethoven is a towering figure, how can one not be overawed? Unusual hub, sending a letter to a hero. I, too have tried wrestling with some of his sonatas - both for piano, and violin and piano, and played most of the symphonies, but never the ninth, much to my regret. The late quartets are the pinnacle of chamber music writing - I could never be far away from those - they nourish the soul as nothing else can.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on December 23, 2015:

Dear jamila - I apologize for the delay in replying to your most touching comments. I feel I have found a friend - one who shares the capacity to appreciate on a higher musical level - the music of Beethoven. I am deepley grateful for you and your connection to this genius. How wonderful to discover another who feels as I do.

You are truly a rare and gifted person. I am blessed to have found you here on hub pages.


jamila sahar on September 10, 2015:


Many thanks for your poignant letter. It is almost impossible not to shed some tears thinking of the suffering of this incredible genius, who even years later still brings so much joy and healing to others including myself as a pianist/musician and educator. Even now I am experiencing a challenging time in my own life and found just the other day playing the first movement of Beethoven's fourteenth Sonata commonly known as 'The Moonlight Sonata' over and over and each time I played it I found myself not only being healed but imagining what the composer was going through at the time he wrote this hauntingly beautiful music...trying to come to terms with his deafness, perhaps being heartbroken, thinking of his two brothers his painful family life...it made my troubles seem small by comparison.

I myself am also always sharing these facts about the composer with my students as many want to learn Für Elise and I always tell the story. Many youngsters are bewildered to learn Beethoven was deaf while writing a great deal of his music; many of his masterpieces and cannot even fathom not being able to hear those glorious sounds he created. It was such a pleasure reading this glad to know someone else in the world shares the same feelings I have for this great musical genius and human being who enriched the lives of so many including myself.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 05, 2015:

TolovajWordsmith - Yes, he did indeed try to conduct the ninth and as you've noted, because of his inability to hear, the tempo was off. Your comments are very much appreciated and I'm so glad you stopped by. I will do the same and thank you!

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on May 05, 2015:

Beethoven is one of my favorite composers too. I think the largest parts of his success lies in his stubbornness, or as you put it persistence. He really never ever gave up. As I remember fro one of the books about his life, he wasn't just in the audience, when the ninth symphony was premiered - he even conducted it! Of course this was too much and failed he failed at tempo, but his mistakes were covered by musicians, so in the end everything pan out well.

Thank you for this beautiful letter!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 08, 2015:

Thank you cat for your lovely comments. They mean so much to me. You have a beautiful heart and im blessef to have you as a hubpage friend.


Catherine Tally from Los Angeles on April 07, 2015:

Audrey, What a beautiful and impassioned piece of writing! I love the way that you have written this as a letter. I grew up listening to Beethoven's music and that of many other composers, but he had a profound effect on me too. The way you express it here moves me to tears.

All of the best,


Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 10, 2015:

Peggy W - Thank you for your excellent and interesting comments. I enjoyed the information about Edison. Have you written a hub about him?

The Moonlight Sonata is a magnificent learning tool for the serious pianist. The second and third movement provide quite a challenge technically. I'm glad you enjoyed the recording.

I appreciate the votes and the sharing Peggy.

John Sarkis - Thanks John. Love your comments. Beethoven is indeed one of the greatest geniuses of all time. Wonderful to see you and thanks for the votes and sharing.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on February 21, 2015:


Thank you for your visit. I'm glad you enjoy Beethoven's music. I never tire from hearing it. I appreciate your mentioning how my son managed to get us those great seats!

Thankyou Vellure for your nice comments! I really appreciate your vote up and very glad you enjoyed this hub.

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on February 21, 2015:

This is a great homage to Beethoven. I think he's one of the greatest geniuses of all times. No one has expressed musical passions as Beethoven did; he's one of the greatest men in the history of Western Culture, period. I really enjoyed your article. - Voted up and away!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2015:

I am listening to Moonlight Sonata as I type this comment thanks to you for including it along with the other videos. I really enjoyed learning more about the genius Beethoven through your letter to him. What a brilliant idea in how to compose this information.

Beethoven's deafness did not stop him just like Thomas Edison who went on to create the phonograph (among many of his numerous inventions) although he had to hold onto it with his teeth to feel the vibrations. An interesting bit of information for you! Edison's deafness came about because of his contracting scarlet fever during his childhood.

Thanks for making this brilliant hub. Many up votes and happy to share!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on February 18, 2015:

A great letter to a true genius. Even though he faced many challenges he kept going, his music is beyond compare. Great hub and voted up.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on February 15, 2015:

Beethoven certainly was a genius. The music he wrote is totally amazing to listen to. That is so sweet of your son to get those tickets.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on February 15, 2015:

Beethoven certainly was a genius. The music he wrote is totally amazing to listen to. That is so sweet of your son to get those tickets.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on February 14, 2015:


Hello my friend. I enjoyed your comments. I'm impressed that you truly appreciate all that this brilliant composer and pianist went through. He was always true to his art.

And thanks for recognizing Randy's love for me and how he managed to get us the best seats in the house. :)

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 14, 2015:

He suffered so much but was truly a master in all the ways that you so aptly point out. His perseverance and passion for his art is a shining example of what is possible. And that son of yours, Randy, is special for those orchestra tickets and the smart trick he pulled.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 24, 2015:

Genna East

Your deep appreciation of Beethoven as a master of music and humanitarian touches me. You and I share a passion for music and a love for this fascinating man.

I love your comments and I love you too, dear Genna. Thank you.


Dip Mtra

Thank you for your appreciation for my hub in the form of a letter. To be called awesome is truly humbling. Have a great weekend.


Coming from a master of the written word, your kind comments mean everything to me. I put my heart and soul into this hub. For this reason, your confirmation that I've done a good job brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, dear Jodah.



Yes, Beethoven suffered throughout his life. But no amount of physical and mental pain stopped him from creating the greatest music in the world.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 24, 2015:

betthoven had gone through lots of unhappy past to achieve his own music, that is remarkable and a genuis

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on January 23, 2015:

Audrey I applaud you on this eloquent and masterly written hub. What a wonderful tribute to a great man and composer. I can feel your passion in every word. Well done and voted up.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 20, 2015:


Our childhood memories with our piano teachers are magical. I'm impressed with your music teacher, Mr. Reed and his teachings of Beethoven. I can almost see you at your piano recital playing the moonlight sonata...

I will search for Poons performance of the Moonlight Sonata on youtube. I'm eager to listen to his masterful interpretation.

Thank you Dianna.

Dip Mtra from World Citizen on January 19, 2015:

This is brilliant writing. Voted u as awesome. A new angle at an essay in the form of a letter. Much appreciated.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 19, 2015:


Oh, thank you Mary for recognizing the many hours of research I put in. I wanted every fact to be 100% correct.

The hours of work you spent on learning the Moonlight Sonata will always stay with you. I'm so glad you still have your piano (I miss mine.) I hope you review this sonata often. It's such an accomplishment.

Thank you for your votes and for sharing. Enjoy every minute of your wonderful life!


Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 19, 2015:


Thank you for your detailed comments on my hub. My hope, while writing this, was to personalize some of the facts of Beethoven's life to bring a deeper appreciation of this genius to the reader.

You have confirmed that I met my goal and I couldn't be happier! And what an honor for you to have visited Beethoven's birthplace. What I would give for that privilege.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences and keep playing that piano!



Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 19, 2015:

What a brilliant way to tell Beethoven’s story, Audrey…with a letter written from both the heart and mind. I hear the word, “genius,” used to describe so many these days; it seems to have lost the gravitas of its meaning. You have given life to the memory of this true genius, and the many challenges he encountered in his troubled but fascinating life. There will never be another Beethoven; he has always been one of my heroes…not only of the world of music, but the true essence of the miracle of humanity. I write this with tears of appreciation. Voted up ++ and shared.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 18, 2015:


Thank you for your comments and feelings about this amazing genius, Beethoven. He has been my inspiration my whole life. Most of my musical piano success is a result of him. Thanks for sharing.


You always manage to see right through me Mike. You are quite amazing. I wonder if you know how your influence helps me in my writing? I thank you for so much my friend.

Nell Rose

Thank you my friend for leaving me this amazing comment. I'm so grateful to you. You build my inner confidence.



Dianna Mendez on January 17, 2015:

Thank you for bringing back memories of my childhood and Beethoven. I have to give my music teacher, Mr. Reed, credit for introducing me to his works. He told Beehoven's story with interest and played his works with great beauty. I remember playing Moonlight Sonata at one of my earliest piano recitals. Poon plays with it masterfully!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on January 17, 2015:

As an old piano player, I really appreciated all the research you did on this Hub. I knew the great Beethoven was deaf, but not as profound as he really was.

I worked so hard to learn to play Moonlight Sonata. I enjoyed the video you included.

I miss my piano, but when I downsized I gave it to a daughter; now I go to her house to play.

I voted this Hub, up, etc. and shared.

suzettenaples on January 16, 2015:

this is brilliant writing Audrey.I love your approach! This letter personalizes Beethovan in an intimate way.

Beethovan himself was a musical genius and even more so because of his deafness. I played Beethoven on the piano at age nine also. His Midnight Sonata and Fur Elise are my favorites of his compositions. I have played them hundreds of times. I loved playing his Works so much that my piano teacher gave me a small bust of him to put on my piano at home. He was an inspiration to me. When I lived in Germany many years ago, I visited his Geburthaus - his birthplace and museum. Thank you for the information of his childhood-I was unaware of the childhood abuse. No wonder he went deaf with his father smacking h on the head. How amazing that he overcame so many challenges to create such beautiful music and become immortal. Thanks for sharing this with us as it brought back some great memories of my piano playing days!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 16, 2015:

no body

Thank you so much for being here and leaving such a nice comment. I agree with you that a genius such as this has something special from God. And Beethoven knew this. He often let it be known that his gift was directly from God.

It sounds like you are making progress on the ocarina. Is yours one with 12 holes? This instrument gives a calm and peaceful sound, resonating to the listener.

I appreciate your interest in music as well as the support you give to my hubs. Thanks Bob for the vote up.

Beautiful notes of music to you. Audrey

Nell Rose from England on January 15, 2015:

This was a lovely way of introducing us to the amazing music and man, and I loved the videos too, your son certainly had a great plan there! this was amazing! should be HOTD! wonderful!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 14, 2015:


I can't begin to describe to you the cluster of emotions I felt while writing this. I could have easily written more. I love how you are struck with emotion and compassion for Beethoven. I feel as though I have found a kindred spirit in you Mary.

Thank you for being touched with my birthday story and my son Randy. If male angels roam the earth - he is pretty darn close!

I am grateful for your kind words. They are imprinted upon my heart. Your vote up and generous ratings do not go unnoticed. Thank you for sharing. Most of all, thank you for being YOU.



mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on January 14, 2015:

Hello Audrey, your passion for music leaps off the page with his piece. Music has sustained you and I believe lifts you. Wonderful to see your passions expressed here through your early curiosity to your lifelong pursuit.

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on January 14, 2015:

This was very informative and interesting I never knew all those things about Ludwig. You see sometimes it's best to do research etc before we lay any kind of Judgement on another. Only God knows what each and every ones goes through , what we are cut out to handle etc. I am sadden to hear about his childhood plight.... but I am happy he overcame his obstacles and strive for excellence in what he loved most Music.

He do have lovely lovely piano pieces that he played and they are still heard around the world after so many years. What an inspiration for someone like him who had to go through such and I believe his music is what helped to left him from all his despair.

Oh that was sweet of your son I am glad he did something so special for you. Money doesn't always matter the moment does..... :)

Have a bless Wednesday evening.

I am sharing this

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 13, 2015:

What a heartfelt letter and such a wonderful tribute to Ludwig Van Beethoven!

I learnt a lot about this genius by your excellent hub.

The reference to your son's act is deeply touching. You wrote this hub with lot of heartfelt feeling , therefore it is bound to reach hearts.

Lovely pictures and video. Thanks for sharing and voted up!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 12, 2015:

You have creatively presented a life that has hummed for the world....heard music that only he could hear and shared it with us.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 12, 2015:

always exploring

Oh, Ruby, your beautiful comments have touched me to the core. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me. And I appreciate your mentioning my son, Randy. I love him so!

I, too am impressed with How Beethoven wanted so much to enhance the vibrations of the piano, he cut off the legs. To be a musical composer and unable to hear must have been the most difficult challenge in the world.

And why his father was so cruel to him, especially as a child, leaves us all wondering why? He did drink most of his salary away with alcohol. Maybe drinking had a lot to do with his behavior.

Thank you for tweeting my hub. My best wishes to you!

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on January 12, 2015:

Hi Audrey, I thoroughly enjoyed the article. These type of genius people have something special from God, something I truly don't have. I guess that's why I am so satisfied with my little ocarina collection and learning at the speed I am (very very slowly). I have not studied any of the noted composers so I never knew any of this stuff except that he was deaf. I loved the perspective, you wrote this with feeling and empathy. I voted up and interesting. Bob.

Mary Craig from New York on January 12, 2015:

So hard not to cry through such tragedy for such a genius. Your "letter" touches on his torture, his sadness, and his genius with equal tempo! Audrey this letter is itself a masterpiece of talent and appreciation. If there is any possibility someone does not know Beethoven this letter will certainly fill them in.

Your story about Randy and the tickets/seats made me cry as well.

This letter is a hub worthy of the man that was Beethoven

Voted all but funny and shared.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 12, 2015:

Audrey, the idea of writing a letter to Beethoven to tell his story is brilliant! Your love of music glows throughout this piece, and of course your handsome son. The video was beautiful. I think what mostly impressed me was him sawing the legs off his piano to feel the vibrations by placing his ear to the floor. I can't help but wonder why his father was so cruel to him, how very sad . Thank you for sharing. Tweeted.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 11, 2015:

Jackie Lynnley

Thank you dear lady for your nice comments. I am even more touched by your appreciation for my son's love for me. Thank you so much.



Oh, you fully understand exactly where I'm coming from! How marvelous it is to find someone like yourself who has been introduced to Beethoven via piano and who has actually played some of his works. Bravo!

Thank you for my angels...I need them and acknowledge their presence in my life.



Dear Bill,

It means everything to find your kind comments waiting for me to read. I'm so filled with admiration and love for this musical genius. I'm happy to hear that this feeling shines through. And thank you for mentioning my son. He is someone else I admire and love. Take care,



Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 11, 2015:

That was just lovely, Audrey. You admiration for the man shines through, and you said it all when you called him a genius. Your son is kind of special, too. :)



Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 11, 2015:

He would be humbled by this poignant letter, Audrey. What a gift to the planet he was. I was about the same age as you when I discovered him and was taking piano lessons for about 6 years learning some of his works.

Listening to his music today still moves me in the same way as it did all those years ago as a young girl.

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps Shared voted up++++ g+ tweeted

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 11, 2015:

Beautiful telling of Beethoven's sad life. Am listening to Tiffany and it is very beautiful too. Loved the bravery of your son and the love he has for his mother. ^+

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