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(b Vienna, Sept 14, 1722; d Vienna, Oct 18, 1767). Austrian violinist and composer. After teaching the violin at the Jesuit seminary in Vienna, he became a cathedral musician at the Stephansdom and played at the court chapel. About 1753 he gave violin lessons to Dittersdorf, who later spoke of him as ‘a very fine violinist and a skilful and worthy composer of chamber music. He took great pains with me’. Through Ziegler's recommendation Dittersdorf gained his first musical appointment. Ziegler's chamber and sacred compositions were highly esteemed in Vienna and he was also respected as a virtuoso; Albrechtsberger and Joseph and Michael Haydn praised his playing.

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Elias Dann

revised by Jiří Sehnal

(b Wartenberg [now Stráž pod Ralskem], nr Reichenberg [now Liberec], Bohemia, bap. Aug 12, 1644; d Salzburg, May 3, 1704). Austrian violinist and composer of Bohemian birth. He was the outstanding violin virtuoso of the 17th century and a first-rate composer; he wrote instrumental or vocal, sacred or secular music with equal ease. His fame rests mainly upon his violin sonatas, especially those which require scordatura, but his polychoral church music has also attracted interest and admiration.

Biber may have had some music lessons, perhaps by the organist Wiegand Knöffel, in his birthplace, which was the property of Count Maximilian Liechtenstein-Castelcorno, brother of the Bishop of Olmütz. He may have studied at a Jesuit Gymnasium in Bohemia, and in the early 1660s he was already on friendly terms with Pavel Vejvanovský, who was then studying with the Jesuits in Troppau. Before 1668 Biber was a musician in the service of Prince Johann Seyfried Eggenberg in Graz, where Philipp Jakob Rittler and Jakob Prinner were also employed. In ...


Judith Leah Schwartz

[Johann; Georg Matthias]

(b Vienna, April 9, 1717; d Vienna, Oct 3, 1750). Austrian composer. The elder son of a coachman, Jakob Mann, and Catherina Päsching Mann, he was baptized Johann Georg but used the names Matthias Georg instead, possibly to avoid confusion with his younger brother Johann Christoph Monn. His preferred spelling, ‘Monn’, may be understood as a Lower Austrian dialect version of the family name Mann. He apparently sang in the choir at Klosterneuburg monastery in 1731–2 and at an early age (but not before 1738) became organist at the new Karlskirche in Vienna. There is little to support Gerber’s assertion that Monn was ‘Hoforganist’ at Melk Abbey or that he gave J.G. Albrechtsberger his first lessons in thoroughbass there. Albrechtsberger’s alleged reverence for Monn as a teacher (described by Sonnleithner) has not been proved, but a surviving set of thoroughbass exercises by Monn ( A-Wn 19101) suggests that he devoted part of his career to teaching....


Hermine W. Williams

(b Florence, Jan 20, 1681/2; d Vienna, July 1732). Italian theorbist and composer. Letters addressed to Ferdinando de’ Medici between 1699 and 1701 suggest that even before the turn of the century Conti was held in high regard for his performances as a theorbist in Florence, Ferrara and Milan. News of his virtuoso playing spread beyond Italy and by 1701 the Habsburg court in Vienna had offered him an appointment as associate theorbist with the same stipend paid to the principal theorbist, Orazio Clementi. Conti served in this capacity from 1701 to 1708, except for the period from October 1706 until July 1707, when his name is absent from the records. On the death of Clementi in August 1708 he was promoted to principal theorbist, a position which he held until illness forced him to retire in 1726. The court had difficulty selecting his successor; Joachim Sarao from Naples was appointed in ...