It is at our time of greatest weakness that he have a chance to exhibit our greatest strength. Beethoven is a prime example of this moral verity. By the time he composed his 9th Symphony, he had gone almost completely deaf. It was precisely at his moment of greatest frailty, that he produced his greatest work. A work that eschews darkness, sorrow and despair, and instead exalts joy, inspired by Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy”. Beethoven was able to set aside his seemingly insurmountable personal travails and give future generations a work of art of such lasting captivating splendor that it stands today as the anthem of the European Union. Bravo, maestro!