- Martin Schoppe
City in eastern Germany, dating from about 1200. The cathedral (St Marien) was consecrated in 1118, and in 1291 a city school was founded; its pupils provided music for the cathedral, but by 1470 the latter had appointed its own precentor. Typical of many medieval cities, it held performances of mystery plays and Latin comedies, and, in the early 16th century, Protestant plays at the school. The school day began and ended with choral singing; its library, established in 1537, contains some valuable manuscripts, including two volumes of music in a 15-volume original manuscript of Hans Sachs. The city was also a centre for itinerant musicians, a tradition which continued until 1846. On public occasions music was usually provided by the guild of Stadtpfeifers, employed by the city from the mid-15th century; by the mid-16th century there is evidence of an official Stadtpfeiferei. 16th-century precentors at the cathedral included Simon Cellarius, Cornelius Freundt and Johann Stolle. Zwickau's cultural life suffered during the Thirty Years War and as a result of the plagues of ...