A Pianist and his Patrons

During Beethoven's initial years in Vienna, he was simultaneously patronized by a number of individual nobles. Several of these, including Prince Lobkowicz (1772-1816), Count Andreas Razumovsky (1752-1836), and Count Moritz Fries (1777-1826), began to play a more significant role in his comissions and performances during the following decade.

The most influential of the earlier patrons were Baron Gottfried von Switen (1733 or 1734-1803) , Count Johan Georg von Browne-Camus (1767-1827) , and, above all, Prince Karl Lichnowsky (1756-1814) and his wife, Princess Christiane (1765- 1841).

Ludwig van BeethovenPrince Karl LichnowskyPrincess Christiane  LichnowskyCount Moritz Lichnowsky
Ludwig van Beethoven _____________Prince Karl Lichnowsky____________Princess Christine______Count Moritz Lichnowsky

Karl Lichnowsky (2nd Prince) was Beethoven's foremost patron, and remained so for more than a dozen years. His home was the center of a circle of musicians, composers, and conneisseurs, and it was at his musical parties that many of Beethoven's works were first performed. At the Lichnowsky home Beethoven met those youthful musicians who were to become famous as the outstanding players of the day, including the members of the Schuppanzigh Quartet (later renamed Razumovsky Quartet). There, he formed life long friendship with the Prince's brother, Count Moritz, and with Baron Nikolaus von Zmeskall, who remained Beethoven's most constant Viennese friend.

Beethoven was invited to live with the Lichnowsky's, and he remained with them as "a member of the family" for several years. According to Carl Czerny, Lichnowsky treated Beethoven "as a friend and brother, and induced the entire nobility to support him."

Prince Franz J. LobkowiczBaron Gottfried von SwitenCarl Czerny
Prince Franz J. Lobkowicz________Baron Gottfried von Switen___________Carl Czerny___________

This was quite a coup on Beethoven's part, for the Lichnowsky family had been a leading force in Viennese musical life for several generations. Lichnowsky was both a pupil and a patron of Mozart. In 1789 he had organized for Mozart a tour of Bohemia and Germany almost identical to that which he arranged for Beethoven in 1796. Lichnowsky's wife, Princess Christine, was one of the better pianists of the Viennese nobility.

In return for his patronage, Lichnowsky received the dedications of Beethoven's first major Vienna works, The Trios, op. 1, and later those of the Sonate No. 8 ,"Pathétique", op. 13, the Sonata, op. 26, the Second Symphony, op. 36, and the Variations on " Quant `e piu bello, WoO 69. His wife was hounored with the dedication of the Lichnowsky, Lobkovicz and Czerny with Beethoveniations on a Theme from Judas Maccabeus, WoO 45, and that of Beethoven's ballet score, The Creatures of Prometheus, op. 43. In addition, Beethoven dedicated his Rondo in G, op. 51 no 2, to the prince's sister, Countess Henriette, and the Variations and Fugue, op. 35, as well as the sonata 27, op. 90, to Count Moritz Lichnowsky. The Clarinet Trio, op. 11 he dedicated to countess Thun, Karl's mother -in-law.

While I was reading about the history of my family I found that biographers and historians are subject to contradictory informations and mistakes. The friendship of Beethoven and his gratitude to it are noticable in the compositions he dedicated to his friends and in letters he wrote for them.

The text above is from Maynard Solomon's biography, " Beethoven" .

Eduardo Graf Lichnowsky

Above: Lichnowsky, Lobkovicz and Czerny with Beethoven___________