How many symphonies did Beethoven compose? Everyone knows the answer. Yet the number nine only refers to the number of completed symphonies. Many people have heard of Beethoven's plans and drafts for a tenth symphony. But only a few know that he also had an idea for a symphony before the "First". The First Symphony in C major op. 21 was composed in 1800. No sketches have survived for it - the sketchbook in question has probably been lost (it is impossible to think that Beethoven composed this symphony without going through a draft stage).