Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 17, 1770, in Bonn, Germany. At the age of seven, he had his first public performance as a pianist. Aged 16, he visited Vienna for the first time, to study. Five years later, he permanently relocated to this city. He met several sponsors and took lessons with Joseph Haydn. He was famous both as a piano virtuoso and as a composer. From 1798 on, he was suffering from a hearing impairment and he turned almost completely deaf by the end of his life. As a consequence, he stopped appearing as a pianist. In December 1826 he was ill with pneumonia. Shortly after his recovery he died in Vienna on March 26, 1827, of fluid retention, jaundice and liver cirrhosis. He is now buried on Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof. He is considered as one of the most important figures transforming musical classicism to romanticism. Famous works include the opera Fidelio, the Mass in C-major and his ninth Symphony (“Ode to Joy“).