10 of Beethoven’s close acquaintances and friends

We introduce you to some of Ludwig's close circle

10 of Beethoven’s close acquaintances and friends
Antonie Brentano: dedicatee of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations

Karl Alois, Prince Lichnowsky (1761-1814) 

One of the composer’s major patrons, described by him as ‘one of my most loyal friends’.


Antonie Brentano (1780-1869) 

Long-term companion, dedicatee of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and, perhaps, the addressee of his ‘Immortal Beloved’ letter. 


Stephan van Breuning (1774-1827) 

Civil servant, lifelong friend – first in Bonn and then Vienna – and a steady presence in Beethoven’s life. Dedicatee of the Violin Concerto.



Giovanni Malfatti (1775-1859) 

This esteemed doctor, for whom Beethoven wrote the cantata Un lieto brindisi, was one of the few medics he trusted. They fell out in 1817.


Josephine Brunsvik (1779-1821) 

Beethoven’s piano pupil and, after her husband Joseph died, increasingly the target of his affection.


Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) 

Studied composition with Beethoven and assisted him as copyist, secretary and general companion.



Archduke Rudolf of Austria (1788-1831) 

Piano pupil and patron, his friendship with Beethoven was marked by the dedication of works including the Archduke Trio and Emperor Concerto.


Anselm Hüttenbrenner (1794-1868) 

The composer and pianist was one of only two people present at Beethoven side when he died.


Anton Schindler (1795-1864) 

Beethoven’s secretary from 1822-25 and first biographer. Some, including the composer himself, found him obsequious and over-protective.


Karl Holz (1798-1858) 

The second violinist of Ignaz Schuppanzigh’s string quartet, Holz took over as assistant to Beethoven after Schindler’s departure.


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