Ludwig van Beethoven was born into a musical German family in 1770. His father recognized his musical talent at an early age and—inspired by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life—wanted to make him a similar child prodigy. Beethoven was talented as a musician and composed his first pieces of music as a teenager.
Then by the age of 26, Beethoven began to lose his hearing. He suffered from a severe case of tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing in the ears that can eventually lead to deafness if left untreated. He struggled to hear the music he so loved, and began avoiding conversations due to the stress of trying to hear.
He maintained a large collection of hearing aids, including a special ear horn, but the technology was insufficient and unfortunately his hearing continued to deteriorate. By the conclusion of the 1824 premiere of his iconic Ninth Symphony, which he helped to conduct, his hearing loss was so profound that he could hear neither the orchestra nor the audience, and had to be turned around in order to see the thundering applause.
Today, the Beethoven Google Doodle celebrated the masterpieces of music he composed during his life before and after losing his hearing. What an inspiration to us all!
If he could accomplish so much without being able to hear…
What are you waiting for?