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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) was a German composer of classical music, who lived predominantly in Vienna, Austria. Beethoven is widely regarded as one of history's supreme composers, and he produced notable works even after losing his hearing. He was one of the greatest figures in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in music. His reputation has inspired — and in many cases intimidated — composers, musicians, and audiences who were to come after him.

Among his most widely-recognized works are his Fifth, Sixth and Ninth symphonies (the latter containing the "Ode to Joy"); Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor"); a Violin Concerto; the Pathétique, Moonlight, Appassionata, and Hammerklavier piano sonatas; and the bagatelle Für Elise.

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