Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) is one of the most famous and influential classical musicians of all time. He was particularly instrumental in the transition from the Classic to the Romantic. He was born in Germany but lived from his early twenties in Vienna. There he studied under Haydn and became recognized for his prodigious talents. Though Beethoven declined into deafness from his twenties, he continued to compose, perform and conduct, even after he had lost all hearing.