We don’t know for sure what day Ludwig van Beethoven was born, but it is documented that he was baptized on December 17, 1770. Like practically everything about his fascinating life, this has been studied in detail and speculated over. Some folks say that he was probably baptized the day after he was born, and they thus insist that he was born on December 16. Whatever. What is not disputed, even by those who don’t like his music (John Cage and Glenn Gould are two examples of great musicians who considered Beethoven’s influence malignant), is that Beethoven was one of the most revolutionary and influential composers in history.