German composer Ludwig van Beethoven is generally regarded as one of the greatest composers in history and was a dominant figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western music. Around age 28, Beethoven developed a severe case of tinnitus and began to lose his hearing. His hearing loss did not affect his ability to compose music, but it made concerts increasingly difficult.
According to one story, at the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the applause of the audience because he could not hear it. In 1811, after a failed attempt to play his own Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, he never performed in public again.