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World’s first successful freelance musician

Ludwig von BeethovenLudwig von Beethoven is known as the man who freed music and is the first composer who never had an official court position. Thus he is known as the world’s first successful freelance musician.

Born in 1770, Beethoven grew up poor, but published his first work at age 12. By age 20 he was famous. He often sold the same music score to six or seven different publishers simultaneously and demanded unreasonably large fees for the simplest work.

He was short, stocky, dressed badly, didn’t like to bath, lived in squalor, used crude language, openly conducted affairs with married women, and had syphilis.

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