This is one title in a series of short, illustrated biographies. They tell the stories of those who have shaped our present and our past, from Beethoven to Dietrich, from Einstein to Churchill and suitable for students and the general reader. Ludvig van Beethoven is a legendary figure in world culture, but who is the man behind that legend? Geck offers a vivid portrait of a difficult but fascinating man with a tangled and still controversial love life. He explores Beethoven's place in Vienna's music scene and in Western musical history, with particular emphasis on the development of the piano sonatas, the symphonies and the late string quartets. This is an authoritative, yet accessible biography of a self-styled cultural hero, presented warts and all.
Martin Geck is the founding editor of the collected works of Richard Wagner and has written several books on the great composers, including the critically acclaimed Bach: Life and Work (FSG). His biography of Johann Sebastian Bach was published in the Lifex series in 2003.