Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) was a German classical composer whose works are probably the most poular of all the great classical composers.
As a pianist myself and having the scores of all his 32 sonatas I have chosen the allegretto from his 14th sonata as my favourite which is played on the track below by Daniel Barenboim.
Beethoven's most famous work without doubt is his final 9th symphony, the 'Choral', where the final movement is based on Schiller's 'Ode to Joy'. The melody has been adopted by the European Union as it's anthem but, even worse, by the World Rugby Union!
The Choral is a masterpiece in orchestral and choral composition. This link will take you to a video of Barenboim conducting his West- Eastern Divan Orchestra at the BBC Proms with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Anna Samuil soprano, Waltraud Meier mezzo-soprano, Michael König tenor and Rená Pape bass.
Ludwig Van Beethoven discography can be found here.