Beethoven's Bagatelle in A Minor, also known as "Für Elise," is a perennial favorite with piano students. Almost everyone asks to play it. My daughter fell in love with it at first hearing when she was 3 years old and asked for it over and over. At age 6, she still calls it "Eleven" for the track number on her CD, has learned the theme by ear, and begs me to play it.
But, who was Elise? Scholars have been unsure. However, German musicologist Klaus Martin Kopitz believes he has discovered the answer. Elisabeth Roeckel was a soprano and the wife of Beethoven's friend and rival, composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Read more.