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date: 03 June 2020

Fischhof, Josephlocked

  • Douglas Johnson

Extract

(b Butschowitz [now Boskovice], Moravia, April 4, 1804; d Vienna, June 28, 1857). Austrian music historian, pianist, composer and teacher. He had some piano lessons as a child, and in 1822 went to Vienna to study medicine while taking instruction in the piano from Anton Halm and in composition from Seyfried. After deciding on a music career in 1827, he taught the piano for many years and in 1833 joined the staff of the conservatory of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. Although well known in his lifetime as a pianist and composer, he is remembered chiefly as a collector and as the author of several articles and monographs, including a history of piano building (Vienna, 1853). His library, one of the great private collections of the century, contained a large number of published scores, books on music theory and music manuscripts. Most of the major composers of the 18th and early 19th centuries and many of the minor ones were represented in manuscript; the concentration of manuscript sources for the works of J.S. Bach was especially impressive, including nearly 200 cantatas. After Fischhof's death his library was bought by the Berlin music dealer Julius Friedlaender, who sold most of it to the Berlin Royal (now State) Library....

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