6. Ludwig van Beethoven's musical education

Johann van Beethoven was his son's first music teacher. When he discovered his son's genius, he secured famous musicians then living in Bonn: F. T. Pfeiffer and Rovantini for piano lessons, the organist van den Eeden and the Franciscan monk Willibald Koch, the violinist Franz Ries, and above all, Christian Gottlob Neefe. 
CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT OF BEETHOVEN'S FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE (March 26, 1778) Like Leopold Mozart, who had his son Wolfgang Amadeus perform for Empress Maria Theresia in Vienna at the age of six, Johann van Beethoven introduced his son Ludwig to the public of the Archbishop's court at the age of seven--not six, as the "Avertissement" incorrectly announces. ( Beethovenhaus, Bonn) 
CHRISTIAN GOTTLOB NEEFE (1748-1798) Oil portrait, not signed Neefe, a distinguished musician and a person of broad education, in 1779 arrived in Bonn as musical director of the National Theater. He became organist of the court and young Beethoven's revered teacher. Beethoven wrote twenty years later: "Should I become a great man you will have had a share in it." ( Beethovenhaus, Bonn) 
OLD ORGAN AT THE MINORITE MONASTERY IN BONN When Beethoven was scarcely nine years old he was able to substitute for the monastery's organist. He regularly played the instrument pictured here at early Mass. ( Beethovenhaus, Bonn) 
AN ARTICLE ON LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, PUBLISHED IN "C. F. CRAMERS MAGAZIN DER MUSIK" (March 2, 1787) The author is Christian Gottlob Neefe. He proves a remarkable prophet. ( Beethovenhaus, Bonn) 
"THREE SONATAS FOR PIANO," DEDICATED TO MAXIMILIAN FRIEDRICH, ARCHBISHOP AND KURFÜRST OF COLOGNE These works were written when the composer was eleven years old. They were published in 1783 by Bossler in Speyer. ( Society of Friends of Music, Vienna) Title page 
"VARIATIONS POUR LE CLAVECIN SUR UNE MARCHE DE DRESSLER" Front page with dedication to the Countess Wolff-Metternich This work, written in 1782, is the first published piece of Beethoven. It was published by Götz in Mannheim in 1782. (Collection Aloys Mooser, University Library, Geneva) 
"TO AN INFANT," LIED The little piece written in 1783 was first published in the collection "Neue Blumenlese für Klavierliebhaber" by Bossler in Speyer in 1784. ( Beethoven Archive, Bonn) 
AUTOGRAPH OF "VARIATIONEN ÜBER EIN SCHWEIZER LIED" Composed in Bonn in 1790, this work was printed in 1798 by N. Simrock, Bonn, under the title: "Six variations faciles d'un air Suisse pour la Harpe ou le Forte-Piano par L. van Beethoven." (Bodmer, Zürich) 
MEMORANDA CONCERNING MUSIC AT THE COURT OF BONN ( 1784) After the death of Kurfürst Maximilian Friedrich, his successor Maximilian Franz, an ardent admirer of music, requested a report on the state of the orchestra of his diocese. There is a detailed appraisal of each musician. On the left the report on Johann van Beethoven, on the right that on Ludwig. Because of this report the new ruler appointed Ludwig, despite his fourteen years, second organist subordinated to his teacher Neefe, and with an annual salary of 150 Gulden. ( State Archive, Düsseldorf) 
AUGUSTUSBURG PALACE AT BRÜHL, SUMMER RESIDENCE OF THE KURFÜRST OF COLOGNE Engraving by Mettely after J. M. Metz Whenever the Archbishop and his court went to Brühl, half way between Bonn and Cologne, all the musicians travelled with them. When the orchestra performed in the magnificent Baroque parlor of the Brühl palace, young Beethoven had the opportunity to play the harpsichord or the viola. ( Municipal Archive, Bonn)