- Beethoven began going deaf in his late 20s and became completely deaf around the age of 45. It is thought that a childhood illness caused his deafness.
- Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll was written as a gift to his wife, Cosima. It was first performed on the steps of their home on Christmas morning by 15 players from the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. Conductor Hans Richter learned how to play the trumpet so he could cover the 13 bars of music for it in the piece.
- Beethoven didn’t complete his first symphony until he was 30 years old. It uses the formal structures of Mozart and Haydn, but with many of Beethoven’s unique characteristics. It was criticized at the premiere for the extensive use of the wind instruments.