‘Deaf’ genius Beethoven was able to hear his final symphony after all

A portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven painted in 1818, 20 years after he first notice hearing problems. Photograph: Getty Images

Musicologist uncovers evidence that, contrary to established belief, the great composer retained some hearing in his final years

The one thing everyone knows – or thinks they know – about Ludwig van Beethoven is that he composed some of music’s greatest masterpieces while completely deaf. Compelling as this sounds, the story has a flaw: it may not be true. According to a leading Beethoven expert, the composer still had hearing in his left ear until shortly before his death in 1827. Full story.

Dalya Alberge (The Guardian) / February 1, 2020

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