How Many Siblings Did Beethoven Have?

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Ludwig van Beethoven was the second of seven children born to Johann van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich. Ludwig van Beethoven’s siblings never reached the acclaim of the German classical composer and pianist. He was born in Bonn and baptized on December 17, 1770. His mother died in 1787 when he was 17.

His father recognized his talent early and started training him. He learned to play the organ, violin, and viola. Composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe taught him composition. His first published composition was in 1783, and his First Symphony was in 1800. As he developed his style, his influencers were Mozart and Haydn. Haydn became his instructor after he moved to Vienna at 21 years of age. He started losing his hearing in the early 1800s and was almost totally deaf by 1814. He stopped appearing in public, but that didn’t stop his innovations.

How Many Siblings Did Beethoven Have?

Beethoven had six siblings. Their names were: Ludwig Maria, Anna Maria Francisca, Franz Georg, Maria Margarita, Kaspar Anton Karl, and Nikolaus Johann.

How Many Siblings Did Beethoven Have That Reached Adulthood?

Only two of Ludwig van Beethoven’s siblings reached adulthood: Kaspar Anton Karl and Nikolaus Johann. The rest of the Beethoven siblings: Ludwig Maria, Anna Maria Francisca, Franz Georg, and Maria Margarita died in infancy. The Beethoven siblings who survived were younger brothers. They were Kaspar Anton Karl and the youngest, Nikolaus Johann. Ludwig was very much involved in their lives.

Kaspar Anton Karl van Beethoven

Born on April 8, 1774, Kaspar Anton Karl van Beethoven followed Ludwig to Vienna in 1794. He taught music and created some musical compositions. In 1800, Karl became a Department of Finance clerk. At the same time, he worked as Ludwig’s business assistant. A quarrel arose between the brothers when Kaspar sold some compositions that Ludwig had promised to someone else. This arrangement ended in 1806. However, he was promoted to Deputy Liquidator in the Department of Finance and had a rental house inherited by his wife, Johanna Reis, whom he had married in 1806. Ludwig and Johanna didn’t get along and the relationship between the brothers subsequently deteriorated.

Kaspar was the source of several legal issues for Ludwig. In 1813, Ludwig loaned 1500 florins to Kaspar. He eventually had to take legal steps to be repaid. Kaspar died from tuberculosis on November 15, 1815. That started a custody fight between Ludwig and Kaspar’s wife Johanna over Kaspar’s and Johanna’s nine-year-old son, Karl. Kaspar had agreed to make Ludwig the sole guardian of Karl. However, in his will, Kaspar made Ludwig and Johanna joint guardians. Ludwig gained custody of Karl in January 1816 and enrolled him in a private school. In early 1818, Karl moved in with Ludwig, but Ludwig lost sole guardianship of Karl. However, he regained it in 1820. At times, Karl felt that Ludwig interfered in his life in an overbearing manner. Ludwig reconciled with Johanna in 1822 and provided her with some financial support over Karl’s objections. Ludwig didn’t improve his relationship with his nephew. He wrote critical letters to Karl and objected to Karl visiting his mother. Karl attempted suicide in August 1826. Upon his recovery, Karl moved in with Ludwig and his Uncle Johann. At this point, Ludwig was ill, so Karl attended to him in December. However, in January, Karl joined the army. Karl was not there when Ludwig passed away on March 26, 1827. Karl was Ludwig’s sole heir.

Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven

Born on October 2, 1776, Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven studied pharmacology. He became an apothecary assistant in Vienna in 1795 and bought a pharmacy in Linz in 1809. Johann married Therese Obermayer on November 8, 1812, over Ludwig’s objections. He did well enough to buy the Schloss Wasserhof castle in Gneixendorf. Johann and Ludwig reconciled in 1823. Johann became a regular guest at Ludwig’s house and helped Ludwig with business matters. He even lent him money with Ludwig’s musical compositions as collateral. In 1826, Ludwig was ill and began to argue with Johann again. Ludwig wanted Johann to make Karl his heir instead of Johann’s wife, Therese.

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Bobby is a viola player who currently lives in Seattle. He has been playing viola for over 20 years in various orchestras.


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