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date: 08 December 2019

Kunz, Thomas Antonlocked

  • Alexandr Buchner
  • , revised by Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

Extract

(b Prague, Dec 21, 1756; d Prague, c1830). Czech composer, pianist and inventor. He studied law and philosophy at Prague University and music with the Prague organist Joseph Prokop. Two of his Singspiels were performed in Prague: König Wenzel (1778) and Die Bezauberten (1779). The piano part of the cantata Pygmalion (1781) and some German songs (1807) were also published in Prague; the first edition of his German songs had appeared in Leipzig in 1799. Kunz was an exponent of the late 18th-century fad for designing combination instruments, constructing in 1791 a piano-organ which he called an Orchestrion (not to be confused with the mechanical instrument of the same name). Between 1796 and 1798, in collaboration with the Prague piano-makers Johann and Thomas Still, he made a second, improved model. Shaped like an over-size grand piano and housed in a mahogany case with sides of ornamentally carved frames backed with blue taffeta, the lower part comprised a two-manual positive organ of 65 keys (compass ...

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