- Josef-Horst Lederer
- , revised by Andrew H. Weaver
(b Graz, July 13, 1608; d Vienna, April 2, 1657). Austrian emperor, patron of music, and composer. He was the son of Ferdinand II and became King of the Romans in 1636 and Holy Roman Emperor in 1637; he was succeeded by his son Leopold I. Like his father, he was an enthusiastic patron of music; he maintained a large chapel and used music (both sacred and secular) to shape his public image and maintain political power during the disastrous final decade of the Thirty Years’ War. Also like his father, his musical tastes were decidedly Italianate. Most of the musicians in his chapel were Italian, among the most prominent of which were Giovanni Valentini, Antonio Bertali, and Giovanni Felice Sances. Nevertheless, distinguished German composers such as Johann Jacob Froberger and Wolfgang Ebner – the latter a particular favourite – also worked at his court. Ferdinand III played an active part in the preparation of great court festivities, especially stage works of various kinds that were produced with utmost magnificence in Vienna and elsewhere in his Habsburg domains. Several Italian composers wrote operas for Vienna during his reign, and Monteverdi’s eighth book of madrigals (...