With unprecedented access to the archives at the Beethoven House in Bonn, renowned Beethoven conductor and scholar Jan Caeyers expertly weaves together a deeply human and complex image of Beethoven--his troubled youth, his unpredictable mood swings, his desires, relationships, and conflicts with family and friends, the mysteries surrounding his affair with the "immortal beloved," and the dramatic tale of his deafness. Caeyers also offers new insights into Beethoven's music and its gradual transformation from the work of a skilled craftsman into that of a consummate artist. Demonstrating an impressive command of the vast scholarship on this iconic composer, Caeyers brings Beethoven's world alive with elegant prose, memorable musical descriptions, and vivid depictions of Bonn and Vienna--the cities where Beethoven produced and performed his works. Caeyers explores how Beethoven's career was impacted by the historical and philosophical shifts taking place in the music world, and conversely, how his own trajectory changed the course of the music industry. Equal parts absorbing cultural history and lively biography, Beethoven, A Life paints a complex portrait of the musical genius who redefined the musical style of his day and went on to become one of the great pillars of Western art music.