(b Vienna, Jan 18, 1795; d Vienna, June 16, 1852). Austrian cellist and composer. He made a promising start on the violin, but an injury from a dog bite to his left arm forced him to switch to the cello. After one year’s study with Schindlöcker he entered the service of a Hungarian nobleman as a quartet cellist. Two years later he began a five-year solo tour throughout the Habsburg Empire. Upon returning to Vienna in 1818 he became solo cellist at the Hofoper, subsequently joining the Hofkappelle. The most important Viennese cellist of the post-Beethoven era, Merk performed with Mayseder and Bocklet in the second Viennese performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in 1830. In 1834 he and Mayseder were appointed Kammervirtuosen. He was on friendly terms with Schubert, the dedicatee of his op.11 Exercices, and with Chopin, who wrote the Polonaise Brillante op.3 for him. From 1822 to 1848...
(b Salzungen, Saxe-Meiningen, Feb 18, 1771; d Meiningen, Aug 14, 1834). German violinist, keyboard player and composer, brother of Christian Friedrich Ruppe. In 1786, when his father died and Salzungen was devastated by fire, he left to study theology at Eisenach and supported himself by giving keyboard lessons. Half a year later he came under the patronage of Duke Georg I of Saxe-Meiningen, who provided for his education in music theory and violin playing, as well as in public finance (in Jena). After further studies in Weimar, Dessau and Wörlitz he was appointed both an administrator and a musician at the court in 1798; he gave piano concerts and played the violin in the orchestra. His compositions, which were not well known outside Meiningen, include Leiden und Tod Jesu and Der verlorene Sohn (oratorios), Der Sieg der Tugend (unfinished opera), Friedenscantate (1814), a keyboard concerto with choir and various chamber works, of which a trio for piano, clarinet and bassoon (Offenbach, ...
Marcia J. Citron
(b Stuttgart, Dec 9, 1796; d Stuttgart, Aug 1, 1857). German composer, pianist, singer and teacher . The youngest of seven children born to the composer Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg, she studied the piano with Schlick and theory with Wilhelm Sutor. Gifted with a fine alto voice, she was soon singing and performing on the piano (e.g. at the Stuttgart Museumskonzerte). As an adult Zumsteeg mixed with leading musicians and poets. The literary ties reflected her interest in the lied, which formed the basis of her creative reputation. She also wrote several piano works, such as the early Trois polonaises, published in 1821 and favourably reviewed in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, and sacred choral music. She occupied a central position in the musical life of Stuttgart as a teacher of voice and piano and as a leading member of the Verein für Klassische Kirchenmusik.
Zumsteeg’s lieder were still known in the late 19th century (Michaelis) but have not remained in the repertory. She composed about 60 songs. The six lieder of her op.6 received a brief but laudatory notice in the ...
(b Strasbourg, March 18, 1781; d Paris, May 20, 1870). French oboist, teacher and composer. In 1798 he entered the class of François Sallantin at the Paris Conservatoire, and was awarded a premier prix the following year. He may also have studied composition with A. Reicha. Concurrent with his studies he served as second oboist at the Théâtre Montansier, and later he joined the orchestras of the Théâtre Italien (1800–02) and Opéra-Comique (1802–12). In 1809, after travelling to Italy and Austria as a member of Napoléon's musique particulière, he was appointed first oboe at the Opéra-Comique, and adjunct professor at the Conservatoire. He subsequently succeeded Sallantin as both principal oboist at the Opéra (1812–34), and as professeur titulaire at the Conservatoire (1816–53, thence to 1868 on the Comité des Études). Among his students were the leading oboists, oboe makers and future Conservatoire professors of the next generation: H. Brod, A. Vény, A.-M.-R. Barret, C.-L. Triébert, S.-X. Verroust, A.-J. Lavigne, A. Bruyant (who inherited Vogt's compositional output) and C. Colin. Vogt was a member of the Chapelle Royale of Louis XVIII from its establishment in ...
(b after 1750; d after 1819). Hungarian composer and cellist. He served as a musician at the court of Menyhért Szulyovszky at Rákócz, Upper Hungary, until 1794, when his employer was arrested for participating in the Jacobin uprising in Hungary; this event inspired Kossovits’s Slow Hungarian Dance in C minor, published as the last of his 12 danses hongroises pour le clavecin ou pianoforte (Vienna, c1800), which became one of the best-known dance pieces of the verbunkos period. Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, the most important Hungarian poet of the turn of the century, wrote his A’ reményhez (‘To Hope’, 1803) to the melody of this dance, thus contributing significantly to its popularity. It was arranged by Liszt in his Magyar dallok – Magyar rhapsodiák (i:6, v:12) and also in his Hungarian Rhapsody no.5. In 1804 Kossovits was in the service of Countess Andrássy in Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia), where he remained at least until ...
Gaynor G. Jones
revised by Jan ten Bokum
(b The Hague, Oct 1, 1753; d Berlin, Dec 10, 1815). Dutch violinist and composer. His father took him to Amsterdam, intending him to follow his own career of dancing-master. The boy’s musical talent was discovered by J.A. Kreusser, who taught him the violin; he soon became a virtuoso player, emulating the style of Michael Esser and Lolli. In 1773 he followed his teacher's brother G.A. Kreusser to Mainz and became chamber musician in the electoral Kapelle there. In 1791 he married the singer Margarete Hamel. He was appointed violinist in the Berlin court orchestra in 1793, and leader in 1813. In 1804 with K.M. Bohrer he organized subscription concerts at which lesser-known Classical works were heard; at one of these, Beethoven’s Second Symphony was performed. His compositions – six violin concertos and masonic songs – were never widely known.SchillingEAnnouncement and review of Schick’s and Bohrer’s benefit concerts, ...
(b Parma, Feb 6, 1793; d Bergamo, Sept 8, 1838). Italian violinist and composer. His father, Alessandro Rovelli, was a conductor at the court of Weimar, and his uncle, the violinist Giuseppe Rovelli (b Bergamo, 1753; d Parma, 12 Nov 1806), was from 1782 a virtuoso da camera at the court of Parma. He studied the violin first with his grandfather, Giovanni Battista Rovelli (b Bergamo, 1740; d Bergamo), first violin at S Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, then in Paris with Kreutzer. He led an intensely active life as a virtuoso. He went with his father to Weimar in 1810, but later resumed his studies with Kreutzer. From 1815 he was first violin at the Munich court, with the titles musicista della reale camera bavarese and primo virtuoso. In 1819 he moved to Bergamo, where he taught at the Istituto Musicale, conducted at the Teatro Riccardi and was ...
revised by John Warrack
(b Vienna, Feb 29, 1820; d Leipzig, June 21, 1887). Austrian composer, pianist and singing teacher. The son of a painter well known for his portraits of Beethoven, Weber and Spohr, he entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 16, studying the piano, composition (with Berton and Halévy) and singing (with Bordogni and Banderali). In the 1840s he travelled to Italy for further study in singing and in 1846 his opera Alessandro Stradella was produced in Florence. From 1850 to 1853 he was in London, acting as maestro al cembalo at Her Majesty's Theatre, as well as touring with Balfe, Sims Reeves and Clara Novello. While doing similar work at the Théâtre Italien Opera in Paris (1854–9), his comedy List um List was produced in Schwerin in 1858 under Flotow and became popular in several theatres in north Germany. He taught singing at the Leipzig Conservatory from ...
(b Lublin, 1791; d Lwów, Nov 30, 1859). Polish violinist, conductor, composer and teacher. He began his musical studies with his father, Michał, conductor of the cathedral orchestra at Lublin. From his father's correspondence it is known that he was to begin studies at the Warsaw Conservatory in 1816, but according to other sources he studied in Vienna. From 1814, for about four years, he was conductor of the theatre orchestra in Lwów. Critical acclaim of his virtuosity came in 1818 and 1819 through a series of concerts at the Schuppanzigh winter gardens in Lwów, and in the following few years he gave concerts in Kraków, Warsaw and Kiev. In 1831 he gave a concert tour in Austria (his first concert in Vienna was on 19 April 1831) and Italy; in Venice (according to reviews in the press) his playing was favourably compared to that of Paganini. Early in ...
(fl 1680). Austro-Bohemian lutenist and composer. The few lines devoted to him in Baron's Untersuchung (1727) are misleading as regards his publications. His Pieces de lut (1682), engraved by G. de Groos, then residing in Prague, and with a title-page by Karel Skreta, contains 53 technically demanding pieces for 11-course lute. The collection is dedicated to Johann Peter Pedroni, a wealthy citizen and tradesman in Prague. The pieces are grouped into ten suites, generally following the allemande–courante–sarabande–gigue pattern, each (except the second) preceded by a prélude non mesuré. French influence is evident, for example in the ornamentation, but the cantabile style of the music, praised by Baron, reveals the aesthetic approach of the Germanic school initiated by Esaias Reusner (ii).
(b Magdeburg, Feb 15, 1789; d Karlsruhe, May 24, 1826). German composer and violinist. He was the son of Marianne Podleska, a singer and former student of Hiller, and Johann Peter August Fesca, a civil servant and amateur musician. He showed early musical talent and had violin lessons with the theatre musician Lohse and studied theory with J.F.L. Zachariä and composition with F.A. Pitterlin in Magdeburg. In 1805 he went to Leipzig to study composition with A.E. Müller and to serve as solo violinist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra. In February 1806 he became chamber musician in the Duke of Oldenburg’s chapel. Early in 1808 he joined the celebrated court chapel of Jérôme Bonaparte, who resided as King of Westphalia in Kassel. There he wrote the first of his string quartets and symphonies (which were published later), whose performances achieved considerable success. At the same time his public performances became less frequent because of a serious lung disease. After the dissolution of the court at Westphalia in ...
revised by Valerie Walden
(b Neuberg, Feb 15, 1768; d Berlin, c1857). German cellist, baryton player and composer. A member of a musical family, he received his general musical education from Hofmusikus Simon. His first position was as a court musician in Mannheim, where he studied the cello with Peter Ritter. Friedl was equally respected as a baryton player, and following a performance at Schwetzingen was given by Prince Carl Theodore of Mannheim an inlaid and bejewelled instrument made by Joachim Tielke. In 1793, on returning from a concert tour in the Netherlands, he performed at Frankfurt for an audience which included Friedrich Wilhelm II, who then engaged him for the Royal Chapel in Berlin. He subsequently studied the cello with Jean-Louis Duport, to whom he dedicated his three cello sonatas op.1 (Offenbach, 1798). Friedl was pensioned in 1826; his name appeared in the Berlin Address Calendar until 1857.
Very little is known of Friedl's compositions. Eitner's ...
Nancy B. Reich
(b Berlin, 1796; d after 1835). German composer and pianist. She was a child prodigy, performing to critical acclaim as a pianist before she was 13 and publishing compositions while still in her teens. Little is known of her personal life other than that she was from a well-to-do Berlin family, studied with Franz Lauska (one of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s teachers), and was also a pupil of Ferdinand Ries. In the earliest reviews of her works, critics predicted a glowing career for her as a composer. Later reviews were cooler and her compositions were deemed to be merely pleasing. A few years after her marriage in about 1814, she settled in another city, possibly London, and evidently ceased all public musical activities. Her works reflect the influence of Mozart in style and form. The final movement of her Cello Sonata op.11 is based on the duet ‘Là ci darem la mano’ from ...
[Venceslaus] (Josef Bartoloměj)
(b Litoměřice, Aug 18, 1745; d Prague, April 1, 1807). Bohemian composer, violinist and organist, brother of Jan Praupner. He studied music at the Jesuit Gymnasium in Litoměřice, and before 1770 went to Prague, where he studied philosophy and theology. He became a church musician and also taught music to the nobility. From 1783 he directed the orchestra at several Prague theatres, and was choirmaster at various churches including, from 1794 until his death, the Týn Church and St František. He was an admirer of Mozart, whom he met in 1787. Esteemed as a player, violin and singing teacher and orchestra director, he was elected the first director of the Prague Tonkünstler-Sozietät in 1803, a position that enabled him to help introduce important oratorios, such as The Creation and Messiah, to the Prague public.
Praupner’s most notable composition is the scenic melodrama Circe (1789). Developing J.A. Benda’s model, he wrote music full of abrupt modulations and chromaticism, with the orchestration reflecting the dramatic situations of the text. His sacred compositions contain conservative traits such as ...
(b eastern Małopolska, 1740; d Vienna, Feb 23, 1817). Polish composer and violinist. In 1775 he settled in Vienna, and for about 40 years worked as first violinist in the orchestra of the Leopoldstadt theatre; between 1785 and 1791 he also played the viola in the orchestra of the Tonkünstler-Societät. Together with his family (his wife and eight children) between 1785 and 1803 he organized numerous choral and orchestral concerts in Vienna’s theatres and local venues. Through these concerts he tried to stimulate the curiosity of the public by programming pieces with intriguing and humorous titles. This approach brought him wide success (his concerts were even attended by the emperor), but he was also accused of naivety, extravagance and ‘musical charlatanism’ (GerberNL). These works were not published, but included: Les prémices du monde, a violin sonata played on one instrument by three children; a three-movement Sinfonia vocale et originale senza parole...
revised by Michaela Freemanová
(b Úpice, Bohemia, bap. Oct 12, 1759; d Prague, April 6, 1801). Czech instrumentalist and composer. According to a report by V. Kneer written about 1796 for Dlabač's Künstler-Lexikon, he studied the viola d'amore and other instruments at the Breslau foundation of the Hospitallers of St John of God, and after joining the order under the name Flosculus studied pharmacy at the University of Vienna, later serving as an apothecary at the order's monasteries. Apparently Tomeš also studied in Vienna with Haydn, who mentioned a pupil ‘Tomisch’ to his biographer Dies. In Haydn's first London notebook a ‘Tomich’ is listed as being active in London in 1792; in the previous year Tomeš's historical ballet Orpheus and Eurydice was performed in London at the King's Theatre (remarkably, Haydn's opera on the same subject, L'anima del filosofo, also written in 1791 for the theatre, was not staged during the composer’s lifetime)....
Richard Beattie Davis
(b Schwabach, Bavaria, May 9, 1814; d Bad Warmbrunn, Silesia [now Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój, Poland], Oct 10, 1889). German composer and pianist. His father was a cotton manufacturer in Schwabach; the family (with six children) moved to Munich in 1817. Henselt and an elder sister began musical studies at an early age, the boy in the first instance with the violin, then the piano, on which he progressed rapidly. From the first, he was attracted to the music of Weber.
In 1826, Henselt undertook advanced tuition with Frau Geheimratin von Fladt, who like Weber and Meyerbeer had been a pupil of Abbé Vogler. Von Fladt helped Henselt secure support from King Ludwig I which enabled him to study with J.N. Hummel in Weimar, where he spent over six months in 1832. On 29 November of that year, he made his official public début in Munich, which won enthusiastic praise. He then studied with Simon Schechter in Vienna until ...
(b Schwetzingen, Aug 1, 1760; d ?Frankfurt, after 1814). German violinist, keyboard player and composer. He was the son of Johann Nikolaus Heroux (b Strasbourg, 20 Oct 1720; d after 1776), a violinist at the courts in Zweibrücken (1748–55) and Mannheim (1756–69), and his wife Maria Magdalena, a member of the Wendling family. Franz began his career as a supernumerary violinist in Mannheim (1775–7). After serving in Zweibrücken (1779–94) he moved to Frankfurt, where he was a member of the theatre orchestra and directed one or two concerts a year that featured his own talented children. His known compositions include six lieder (Mainz, c1805), two keyboard potpourris (Mainz, n.d.), three keyboard trios and an overture, as well as smaller pieces for the piano, the flute and the violin.
Franz's brother, Johann Nikolaus Heroux (b Zweibrücken, ...
(b Christiania [now Oslo], Sept 30, 1840; d Copenhagen, June 14, 1911). Norwegian violinist, composer and conductor.
His father was a military musician who gave him instruction in a variety of instruments. At the age of nine he began to play in local dance orchestras and at 11 to compose dances and marches, two of which were later published. He joined the army and soon transferred to the regimental band, where he became solo clarinettist. The violin was his principal instrument, however; he took lessons from F. Ursin and played in the orchestra of the Norwegian Theatre, of which Ibsen was director from 1857. His first experience of the symphonic repertory was as a first violinist in the series of subscription concerts arranged by Halfdan Kjerulf and J.G. Conradi in 1857–9, when Beethoven’s music made a deep impression on him. He then became a pupil of Carl Arnold, whose instruction he always valued highly, though it seems to have consisted mainly of a thorough study of Beethoven’s and Mozart’s violin sonatas. In ...
Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell, Gilda Grigolato and Maurizio Padoan
(b Como, 1770; d Milan, 1835). Italian violinist and composer. His surname derives from the translation of the surname of his paternal grandfather Ferdinand Stekbucher, who was lieutenant of the Imperial garrison stationed in Como; the nickname ‘Ajutantini’ refers to the military rank of ‘Adjutant’, which his grandfather also held. After working as an orchestral violinist in Como, Pontelibero became a member of the La Scala orchestra at the end of the century. According to Rovani’s historical novel Cento anni (1857), he composed the controversial republican ballet Il Generale Colla in Roma (1797). Rovani draws an effective picture of Pontelibero who ‘from reading Rousseau, became one of the first to pay close attention to what was happening in France; one of the first to long for the revolutionary wave to break on the shores of Italy’. He provided scores for at least ten more ballets between ...