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date: 20 November 2019

Hoffmann, E(rnst) T(heodor) A(madeus) (opera) [Ernst Theodor Wilhelm ]locked

  • David Charlton
  •  and Gerhard Allroggen


[Ernst Theodor Wilhelm ]

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], Jan 24, 1776; d Berlin, June 25, 1822). German composer and writer , a central figure in the development of German Romanticism.

David Charlton

Hoffmann was brought up chiefly by aunts and an uncle, Otto Wilhelm Doerffer, who took responsibility for his musical education. The boy studied keyboard, violin, harmony and counterpoint under different masters, and later had lessons with J. F. Reichardt in Berlin (1798–1800). He studied law at Königsberg University, graduating in 1795, afterwards practising in Glogau (1796–8), Berlin (1798–1800), Posen (now Poznań), Płock and Warsaw (1804–6). He adopted the name ‘Amadeus’ in 1804, in homage to Mozart.

During these years Hoffmann was very active as a composer, and to some extent as a painter. As well as stage works, he wrote a number of masses and other vocal pieces, a symphony in E♭ (...

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