Saturday, 20 August 2011
Beethoven was the first composer who never had an official court position, thus the first known freelance musician. Born in 1770, he grew up poor, but published his first work at age 12. By age 20 he was famous. He often sold the same score to six or seven different publishers simultaneously, and demanded unreasonably large fees for the simplest work. He was short, stocky, dressed badly, didn't like to bath, lived in squalor, used crude language, openly conducted affairs with married women, and had syphilis. Beethoven was deaf when he composed his Ninth Symphony.