Beethoven's (1770-1827) music helped define the classical style and is considered by many to be the greatest composer who ever lived.
Though long resident in England, Jeremy Siepmann
was born and formally educated in the United States. Despite a late start, he was encouraged by both Rudolf Serkin and Virgil Thomson to pursue a career in music. He studied in New York and later in London where he began teaching for the WEA and later for London University. For most of the last 20 years he has confined his teaching activity to the piano. As a writer he has contributed articles, reviews and interviews to numerous journals and reference works (including New Statesman, Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians), some of them being reprinted in book form (Oxford University Press, Robson Books). His books include a widely acclaimed biography of Chopin (The Reluctant Romantic, Gollancz, July '95), two volumes on the history and literature of the piano, and a biography of Brahms (Everyman/EMI, 1997). In December 1997 he was appointed editor of Piano magazine. His career as a broadcaster began in New York in 1963 with an East Coast radio series on the life and work of Mozart, described by Alistair Cooke as 'the best music program on American radio'. On the strength of this, improbably, he was hired by the BBC as a humorist, in which capacity he furnished weekly satirical items on various aspects of American life. After a long break he returned to broadcasting in 1977. Since 1979 he has devised, written and presented more than 1,000 programmes for BBC radio including the international-award-winning series 'The Elements of Music'. In 1988 he was appointed Head of Music at the BBC World Service, broadcasting to an estimated audience of 135 million. He left the Corporation in Spring 1994 to form his own independent production company.