A Day in the Life of Beethoven

Even a composer needs a regular daily routine. And we know a lot of surprising things about Ludwig van Beethoven's routines.

By Beethoven-House Bonn

Beethoven-House Bonn

Table Clock from Beethoven's Possession Together with Key (1810)Beethoven-House Bonn

A Day in the Life of Beethoven

Beethoven was a master in work-life balance. To do this, he has timed his day strictly - to work productively, but also to be creative. The beat was given to him by this table clock from his last Viennese apartment. Today it is located in the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn.

Beethoven's desk from his apartment in the "Black Spanish House" (1825) by AnonymousBeethoven-House Bonn

6 am: Get up and go to work

At six o'clock at the latest, Beethoven gets up and sits down at his desk after a short breakfast. It stands in Beethoven's "music room", where music manuscripts, notes and sketches are stored in wild disorder. Let's compose!

Contract Between Ludwig van Beethoven and the Publisher Artaria & Co. (1795-05-19)Beethoven-House Bonn

9 am: Take a walk and write letters

After a short walk, Beethoven sets about writing to publishers and potential clients. For Beethoven, as a freelance artist, had to look after his own money. In this contract the publishing house Artaria takes over the engraving of the Trios op. 1 for 212 florins.

Beethoven's Table Bell Beethoven's Table Bell (1820)Beethoven-House Bonn

12 noon: Lunch

Beethoven also likes to receive guests for lunch. He probably uses this bell to summon servants or to have himself fetched for dinner. After the feast he heads off to the Viennese coffee houses.

Beethoven on a Walk in Rear View (1823) by Joseph WeidnerBeethoven-House Bonn

4 pm: Walking tour

This watercolour shows Beethoven at his afternoon activity: In the late afternoon he goes for an extensive walk. This often gives him ideas which he immediately writes down in a notebook.

Beethoven in a Café (1823) by Eduard KlossonBeethoven-House Bonn

20 h: Inn or concert

In the evening, Beethoven liked to sit in convivial company or listen to what the Viennese music world had to offer apart from him. On one of these occasions he was discovered by the Austrian official Eduard Klosson, who made this drawing unnoticed.

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