“…how many musicans do you think your side have got, eh? First grade, I mean.”
Aziraphale looked taken aback. “Well, I should think–” he began.
— p. 33
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was among the most famous of classical music composers. Born in Germany, he moved to Vienna in his twenties and began a successful career as a solo pianist. In his late twenties he began to lose his hearing, and yet continued to produce notable compositions throughout his life in the face of this personal disaster, even after his deafness became absolute. Unusually among his contemporaries, he worked as a freelance composer, arranging subscription concerts and being supported by a number of wealthy patrons who considered his gifts extraordinary.
Beethoven’s most famous works include his First, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth symphonies, his Piano Concerto No. 5, and his Violin Concerto, among many others.
“Beethoven.” Wikipedia. Accessed 15 Apr 2006. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beethoven>.