Sunday, November 7, 2010

His life
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), the second-oldest child of the court musician and tenor singer Johann van Beethoven, was born in Bonn. Ludwig's father drilled him thoroughly with the ambition of showcasing him as a child prodigy. Ludwig gave his first public performance as a pianist when he was eight years old. At the age of eleven he received the necessary systematic training in piano performance and composition from Christian Gottlob Neefe, organist and court musician in Bonn. Employed as a musician in Bonn court orchestra since 1787, Beethoven was granted a paid leave of absence in the early part of 1787 to study in Vienna under Mozart. he was soon compelled to return to Bonn, however, and after his mother's death had to look after the family.
In 1792 he chose Vienna as his new residence and took lessons from Haydn, Albrechtsberger, Schenck and Salieri. By 1795 he had earned a name for himself as a pianist of great fantasy and verve, admired in particular for his brilliant improvisations. Before long he was traveling in the circles of the nobility. They offered Beethoven their patronage, and the composer dedicated his works to them in return. By 1809 his patrons provided him with an annuity which enabled him to live as a freelance composer without financial worries. Beethoven was acutely interested in the development of the piano. He kept close contact with the leading piano building firms in Vienna and London and thus helped pave the way for the modern concert grand piano.
Around the year 1798 Beethoven noticed that he was suffering from a hearing disorder. He withdrew into increasing seclusion for the public and from his few friends and was eventually left completely deaf. By 1820 he was able to communicate with visitors and trusted friends only in writing, availing himself of conversation notebooks.
The final years in the life of the restless bachelor (he changed living quarters no fewer than fifty-two times) were darkened by severe illness and by the struggle over the guardianship of his nephew Karl, upon whom he poured his solicitude, jealousy, expectations and threats in an effort to shape the boy according to his wishes. When the most famous composer of the age died, about thirty thousand mourners and curious onlookers were present at the funeral procession on March 26, 1827.

Zhou Qiang and the All-China Youth Federation

Biography Highlight
Zhou Qiang, male, Han nationality, is a native of Huangmei County, Hubei Province. He was born in 1960, entered the work force in 1976 and joined CPC in 1978. Zhou graduated from Department of Law of Southwest China University of Political Science and Law with a Bachelor Degree in 1982, with a Master Degree in 1985.

Zhou began his political career as co-secretary of the 13th CYLC Central Committee Secretariat in 1995. He later became a member and standing committee member of the Committee for Internal and Judicial Affairs of the 9th NPC in 1998.

• Julia Carabias
Professor Julia Carabias Lillo was born in 1954 in Mexico City, Mexico. After studying biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she taught courses in environmental science at UNAM, while continuing her research into tropical forest regeneration, natural resource management and environmental conservation. In the meantime, she established her own basic research policy: “to always view issues and envisage the future from the perspective of developing nations.”
To put such policy into practice, since the 1980s, she has actively addressed the difficult challenge of achieving both goals: development for people in poverty and natural resource conservation in developing nations.
In 1982, in response to a request from the Governor of Guerrero, which is said to be Mexico’s poorest state and suffers from severe environmental destruction, she created and implemented a practical research program to help improve residents’ standards of living, without exhausting natural resources. She worked in a team with economists and ecologists, taking a multidisciplinary approach to carry out this four-year program, which resulted in great success.
The success of the program attracted the attention of the President of Mexico, who asked her to develop programs to fulfill both development and natural resource conservation goals in four other states in the country. All of these programs produced excellent results.
In recognition of these achievements, the Mexican government appointed Ms. Carabias Minister for the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries; she served in that position for six years between 1994 and 2000.
She also served as a principal member of the Commission that published the report “For Earth’s Sake” during the 1992 United Nations Conference of Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. She has striven to find solutions to challenging tasks, including striking a balance between development and environmental conservation, and increasing the interest of residents in local communities. As part of such efforts, she has actively proposed opinions from Southern perspectives at many global environmental forums, such as the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).
After completing her tenure as Minister in 2000, Julia Carabias returned to her post as President of the National Institute of Ecology, while holding a full-time professorship at UNAM. She remains active as a leading expert in the field of protection of the environment and nature in Mexico.
Professor Carabias has always considered global environmental issues from the perspective of developing countries, and has addressed challenging tasks by conducting thorough fieldwork with an integrated approach. She is among the pioneers who have paved the way, in both academic and practical terms, for the harmonious coexistence of nature and humankind in moving toward a better future for our planet. In view of the outstanding activities mentioned above, Professor Julia Carabias Lillo eminently deserves the International Cosmos Prize.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, OC (born 2 December 1953) is a Canadian Inuit activist. She has been a political representative for Inuit at the regional, national and international levels, most recently as International Chair for Inuit Circumpolar Council (formerly the Inuit Circumpolar Conference). Watt-Cloutier has worked on a range of social and environmental issues affecting Inuit, and has most recently focused on persistent organic pollutants and global warming. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work, and has been featured in a number of documentaries and profiled by journalists from all media.

Aisha Ahmed
Section 701
Level 2 Writing

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