Karajan’s professional debut as a conductor was in 1931 at the age of 23. He conducted a small provincial orchestra performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 "Eroica". 30 years later he conducted the same work but this time with the mighty Berliner Philharmoniker. The work was reportedly composed after Beethoven rejected suicide at the age of 33, deciding to out-face the trauma of his increasing deafness. In formulating the work, Beethoven was contemplating the heroism of the young Napoleon as well as the heroism of the fire-stealing, god-defying Prometheus. It was these displays of gallantry that were said to inspire Beethoven naming the symphony ‘Eroica’.