Part of a series of biographies of famous composers and musicians, this book aims to introduce young readers to the world of music. The books tell the story of the life of different composesr, but woven into each book are educational themes such as the form of a symphony, the development of particular instruments and the techniques of composition. The books also cover the role that personal and political beliefs played in the lives of the composers. Brought up in poverty, pushed into music by his father, Ludwig van Beethoven fell in love with his art and by struggle and singleness of purpose, turned himself first into one of the greatest pianists of his day - and then into one of the greatest composers that has ever been. Beethoven was ill almost all his life and at the moment when he was reaching the height of his powers he became deaf. He was already a man who veered between exultation and despair, and this terrible blow nearly drove him to suicide. In his music all was order and discipline, expressing most powerful ideas and emotions. In his life all was chaos - a muddle of finances, family troubles, love affairs that failed, temper and argument. But combined with that was what many called "a golden heart". He could be wonderfully gentle and kind. Beethoven lived and died surrounded by people who loved him, who saw through the agony of frustration to the good and brilliantly gifted man beneath. His music reaches not only to the mind, but to the heart.