Kafka, Johann Nepomuk
- William Drabkin
(b Neustadt an der Mettau [now Nové Město na Metové], May 17, 1819; d Vienna, Oct 23, 1886). Bohemian pianist, composer and collector of music manuscripts. He won considerable popularity as a composer of light piano pieces, among them nocturnes, idylls, impromptus and rhapsodies, of which about 200 were published. He is remembered chiefly as the owner of a number of Beethoven manuscripts, including the autographs of the piano sonatas opp.28 and 53 and various sketch miscellanies and leaves. The most important manuscript from his collection (the ‘Kafka’ Sketchbook), which contains sketches and autographs of many of Beethoven's earliest works, was acquired by the British Museum in 1875 (part of Add.29801). Another miscellany of sketches in the British Library (Add.29997) contains material for works written between 1799 and 1826; it was purchased from Kafka in 1876.FétisBRiemannL12J.S. Shedlock: ‘Beethoven’s Sketch Books’, MT, 33 (1892), 331–4, 394–7, 461–5, 523–5, 589–92, 649–52, 717; xxxiv (1893), 14–16, 530–33; xxxv (1894), 13–16, 449–52, 596–600; l (1909), 712–4...