- Othmar Wessely
(b Pihl, nr Česká Lípa, Bohemia, Jan 30, 1787; d Salzburg, July 3, 1857). Austrian writer on music. He was the son of Count Kinsky’s brewer, Andreas Schmid, and his wife, Theresia Bergmann. After his initial instruction in singing and the piano, he received further musical education after 1798 as a singer in the monastery of the Calced Augustinians in Česká Lípa. From 1804 he lived as a theatre musician and music teacher in Prague, where he also began his literary activity. In 1812 he settled as a private teacher in Vienna. He became a drafting probationer for the Viennese court library in 1818, and was made a Skriptor in 1819 and a Kustos in 1844. At the request of Moritz, Count Dietrichstein, he organized the collection which became the basis for the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, and was its first keeper; his handwritten catalogue is still in existence. From this task arose not only his fundamental studies on the history of printing music from movable type, but also his more than 500 supplements and reports appended to C.F. Becker’s ...