Portrait of Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler, ca. 1818.
What do you know about Beethoven? He wrote the Fifth Symphony (da da da dummmm ...) and he became deaf.
There's obviously a lot more to the man and his music, and one person who surely knows is composer and writer Jan Swafford. He's just published a new 1000-page book on Beethoven. Swafford is also well-regarded for his biographies of Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms, his own music and teaching at the Boston Conservatory.
Swafford will join me Thursday at noon ET for an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the social networking site Reddit. Get your Beethoven questions ready and join us!
We asked Swafford to list a few unusual things about Beethoven he discovered while writing the book. It turns out that Beethoven was a paranoid, surprisingly generous, politically minded pain in the rear — who admitted failing at almost everything but music.