Answers to our Beethoven Trivia Quiz

Question 1: Beethoven was born in what month and year?

Answer: Beethoven was born in December of 1770. His baptismal date was December 17, but his actual birthdate is unknown, though generally believed to have been December 16.
Arts organizations all over the world are celebrating the 250th anniversary of his birth throughout 2020.

Question 2: How many symphonies did Beethoven complete?

Answer: Beethoven completed 9 symphonies. He may have begun a 10th, but only fragments of what could have been the beginnings of a 10th survive.

Question 3: In what city did he live for almost all of his life?

Answer: Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, but moved to Vienna, Austria in 1792 and spent the rest of his life there.

Question 4: Name one famous composer with whom Beethoven studied.

Answer: Beethoven studied composition with Franz Joseph Haydn. He also was acquainted with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri and may have had informal studies with them.

Question 5: On what instrument was Beethoven considered a virtuoso?

Answer: Beethoven was a virtuoso pianist and generally believed to surpass even Mozart with his improvisational skills.

Question 6: From what “affliction” did Beethoven suffer?

Answer: Beethoven began losing his hearing in the late 1790s. By 1814-1815 he was completely deaf. This means he wrote some of his greatest works while totally deaf, such as Symphony No. 9 (Choral) and Missa Solemnis.

Question 7: Which symphony was originally dedicated to Napoleon?

Answer: Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) was originally dedicated to Napoleon, but when Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804, the same year the 3rd symphony was completed, Beethoven removed the dedication and changed the title to “Eroica.”

Question 8: What is the name of the only opera Beethoven completed?

Answer: Beethoven finished his only opera, Fidelio, in 1804. He revised it several times – with a different overture each time – until its final version was completed in 1814. He began several other operas, but only completed and premiered Fidelio.