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Considered by many the world's greatest composer, Ludwig van Beethoven achieved his ambitions against the difficulties of a bullying and drunken father, growing deafness and mounting ill-health. This biography tells the story of his life and work from his birth in Bonn in 1770 and his early employment as a court musician to his death in Vienna in 1827. It describes his studies with Haydn in Vienna and his work during the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon. His most financially successful period followed the Congress of Vienna in 1815, despite several unhappy love affairs and continuous worry over his nephew, Karl.

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