The tragic loss of Beethoven’s hearing didn’t thwart his desire to combine sounds, says London Piano Institute. In today’s interview, the staff of Interviewing Experts speaks with London Piano Institute and Celine Gaurier-Joubert about the tumultuous life of this classical composer.
Interviewing Experts: Good morning, we are so happy to have you here.
London Piano Institute: Thank you for the opportunity.
Interviewing Experts: We’re here to talk about one of the most notable classic composers ever, Beethoven. Is his music important to your institute?
London Piano Institute: Yes, absolutely. He remains an inspiration for our students.
Interviewing Experts: You teach Beethoven at London Piano Institute?
London Piano Institute: We do. In fact, he is quite a popular topic of both conversation and study.
Interviewing Experts: Can you tell us a bit about him?
London Piano Institute: Beethoven was born in Germany in the winter of 1770. His father was a musician and taught his surviving children as much as he could about melody.
Interviewing Experts: Surviving children?
London Piano Institute: Tragically, Beethoven was only one of three surviving children for the elder Beethoven and his wife. The couple lost four infants at birth.
Interviewing Experts: Quite sad; could this have influence his work?
London Piano Institute: Perhaps, but his life was steeped in turmoil, including the later loss of a brother and a nasty custody battle over his nephew.
Interviewing Experts: Was he married?
London Piano Institute: No, he never wed. He did, however, have one notable love interest, one Countess Giulietta Guicciardi.
Interviewing Experts: Why did the two not wed?
London Piano Institute: He was not of noble birth. He also fell in love with fellow musician Therese Malfatti, but common speculation suggests social constraints denied him romantic bliss once again.
Interviewing Experts: She is the dedicatee of his Für Elise, right?
London Piano Institute: Possibly, but it is not formally noted. Historians have it narrowed to several possible love interests.
Interviewing Experts: As a composer at the time, how did Beethoven earn a living?
London Piano Institute: The vast majority of his income stemmed from patrons who commissioned works from the musician. His largest supporter was Archduke Rudolph. Other revenue came from performances and publications. Unfortunately, he had a limited income before his death.
Interviewing Experts: It has been said that Beethoven had a rather strong personality.
London Piano Institute: He did, indeed. He had a wanton disregard for authority and a lack of respect for social stigma. He liked things a certain way and caused a stir more than once. Very telling of his personality is the fact that Archduke Rudolph actually made a public decree that proper court etiquette constraints did not apply to the musician.
Interviewing Experts: That’s very interesting. Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have today. Thank you for speaking with us.
London Piano Institute is directed by master pianist Celine Gaurier-Joubert who founded the school based on the belief that adult learners could master the piano despite previous musical experience. Celine Gaurier-Joubert offers instruction in a variety of musical genres.