German manufacturer of harmonicas, accordions, keyboard instruments and guitars. It was founded in 1857 in Trossingen by the clockmaker Matthias Hohner (b 1833; d Trossingen, 1903), who was not so much an innovator as a perfector of other people’s inventions, which he then marketed successfully. He learnt how to make his first harmonica after visiting a friend’s workshop. For almost half a century he focussed on this single product, which was exported to more than 100 countries around the world. The biggest market was the USA, which in 1890 absorbed more than 90% of the firm’s production. Hohner was the unrivalled market leader and the company name became almost synonymous with the harmonica (see Harmonica). After Matthias’s death his five sons took over the business. They began also to make accordions, and contributed greatly to their technical and musical advancement. The Hohner ‘Gola’ piano accordion, which is still produced, is seen by many as the ‘Stradivari’ of accordions. By the 1920s the company had become the world’s largest producer of musical instruments, employing a workforce of nearly 5000. In ...
Hugh Davies and Christoph Wagner
(b Freistadt [now Karviná], April 14, 1756; d Vienna, Aug 6, 1828). Polish violinist, composer and conductor. He studied composition, probably in Poland, and was a violinist and director of the court orchestra of Marie Josefa Breuner in Venice between c1786 and c1792. During the next two years he worked at the court of the Hungarian aristocrat Anton Grassalkovics von Gÿarack in Bratislava and Vienna. From the beginning of 1795 he lived permanently in Vienna, and in 1796 was accepted into the Tonkünstler-Societät. From 1803 until his death he was a member of its committee, and in the years 1811–25 was also its principal violinist. In December 1801 he became a violinist in the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle, where he remained to the end of his life. He also worked in the orchestras of the Imperial theatres, the Hofburgtheater and the Kärtnertortheater, conducting concerts and ballet performances.
Kleczyński was reputedly a gifted musician. His music for stringed instruments demands a high level of technical proficiency, in particular the sets of variations that were surely composed for himself and for his brother Franciszek, also a violinist (...
Robert N. Freeman
(b Melk, Lower Austria, Feb 11, 1728; d Eichstätt, Dec 29, 1797). German composer and violin virtuoso of Austrian birth. He came from a long line of musicians who emigrated to Melk late in the 17th century from Traunstein, Bavaria. While still a young man he was appointed Thurnermeister (director of instrumental music) in Melk, a post which he held from July 1751 to May 1753. He left his native town for travels as a virtuoso and may have been employed briefly at Würzburg (or Wurzbach) before settling in Eichstätt. There he established himself as a versatile musician in the court orchestra of Prince-Bishop Johann Anton II, using steadily in rank from violinist (September 1753) to Konzertmeister (March 1768) and finally to court Kapellmeister (July 1773). Although he developed a reputation primarily as a church composer, Bachschmidt wrote a number of dramatic works for Eichstätt’s theatres. His turn from Latin school drama to Italian opera reflects the closing of the Jesuit theatre in Eichstätt in ...
T. Herman Keahey
(b Freiburg, 1733; d London, April 29, 1800). German oboist and composer. According to Burney he was ‘brought up at one of the common reading schools … where all the children learn music, with reading and writing, as a thing of course’ and learnt to play the violin. He first turned to the oboe ‘in sport’ but found that ‘he could express his feelings better with the reed than the bow’ and went to study with Alessandro Besozzi (ii). He performed Besozzi’s G major Oboe Concerto in Warsaw in 1757 and at around the same time he composed a flute concerto and two oboe concertos.
From 1760 Fischer was a member of the Kapelle of Augustus III, King of Poland, in Dresden; following the dissolution of the Kapelle in 1764 he travelled to Berlin and joined the court of Frederick the Great, whose flute playing he accompanied, presumably on a keyboard instrument, for four hours a day for a month. Later that year he travelled to Mannheim and performed at the Concert Spirituel in Paris (with sensational reviews), and in ...
Italian and Austrian family of composers and musicians.
(b Pesaro, June 22, 1741; d Eisenstadt, April 25, 1808). Violinist and composer. He was engaged in 1757 as a manservant by Prince Paul Anton Esterházy, who had become acquainted with him on a journey to Italy. In 1759 he was sent to Venice for further musical training but was soon ordered to return to Vienna. It is uncertain whether he was a pupil of Leopold Mozart in Salzburg (as has been assumed from the latter’s letter of 21 June 1763), and it can only be presumed that he later received composition lessons from Haydn. In summer 1761, when Haydn was appointed assistant Kapellmeister, Tomasini was already first violinist in the Esterházy Hofkapelle, and later he was awarded the title Konzertmeister, a post he held until his death. In 1767 he was in the retinue of Prince Nicolaus (I) Esterházy on a journey to Paris. When the Vienna Tonkünstler-Societät, of which Tomasini had been a member since its inception, gave the première of Haydn’s oratorio ...
(b Vienna, bap. Aug 26, 1726; d Vienna, Aug 6, 1784). Austrian lutenist and composer. His father, Jakob Karl Kohaut was a court musician to Prince Adam von Schwarzenberg. Like his contemporary Karl von Ordonez, Kohaut pursued a dual career as civil servant and musician. He entered the civil service in 1756 or 1757 as an official in the state chancellery and by 1778 had reached the position of court secretary. Highly regarded at the Viennese court, he accompanied Joseph II on several missions abroad; he was chosen to compose an elaborate two-part musical entertainment, Applausus Mellicensis, for the occasion of Joseph’s two visits to Melk monastery during March and April 1764. He participated as a violinist in performances of quartets by Haydn and Mozart organized by Gottfried van Swieten. It was as a lutenist, though, that he was most widely admired. He appeared as soloist in a performance of one of his own lute concertos at an academy of the Tonkünstler-Societät on ...
Robert N. Freeman
(b Vienna, Dec 8, 1737; d Oberweiden, Dec 5, 1799). Austrian composer and teacher. He was educated as a student and choirboy by the Benedictines at Melk Abbey, Lower Austria, from 1748 until 1754, when he took his vows. As a novice he was sent to Vienna to study composition with Joseph Haydn, perhaps from 1756 to 1758, but more certainly from November 1760 until April 1761, during which time he was exposed to keyboard works by C.P.E. Bach, F. Nicolai and G.M. Rutini and vocal music by Galuppi, C.H. Graun and Pergolesi. He then returned to Melk as music director, 1761–77; he spent the last 22 years of his life as a minister in the parishes of Getsdorf, Weikendorf and Oberweiden.
Kimmerling's solid reputation as a composer rested primarily on his stage works produced in connection with visits of the imperial court to Melk in 1764 and especially with the nuptial visit of Marie Antoinette in ...
Robert N. Freeman
(b Klosterneuburg, nr Vienna, Feb 3, 1736; d Vienna, March 7, 1809). Austrian composer, teacher, theorist and organist. From the age of seven he served as a choirboy for the Augustinians in Klosterneuburg, where he learnt the organ and figured bass from the dean, Leopold Pittner. His studies in composition under G.M. Monn (if accurately reported by Albrechtsberger's pupil Johann Fuss) must have taken place during this period. As a student and choirboy at Melk Abbey from 1749 until 1754, he received a thorough training in composition and organ from Marian Gurtler, the regens chori, and Joseph Weiss, the abbey's organist. After a year of study at the Jesuit seminary in Vienna he worked as an organist in various provincial localities: Raab (now Győr, Hungary), 1755–7; Maria Taferl, near Melk, 1757–9; and Melk Abbey, 1759–65, where he succeeded his former teacher Weiss. His precise place of employment in ...
David Young and A. Peter Brown
(b Vienna, bap. Aug 16, 1734; d Vienna, Sept 6, 1786). Austrian composer and violinist. Although an entry in Count Karl von Zinzendorf’s diary (23 April 1775) describes him as the ‘fils naturel de M. de Buquoy’, the baptismal and other archival records describe him as the son of Johann Baptist Christoph von Ordonez – an infantry lieutenant and former owner of property in Neuschloss (now Nové Zámky), Moravia – and his wife Anna Maria Theresa. Ordonez spent the whole of his life in Vienna and, like his contemporary Karl Kohaut, served a dual career as civil servant and musician. His career with the Lower Austrian administration began in 1758 with appointment as an unpaid assistant in the regional court and culminated in 1780 with appointment as Registrant with a salary of 1000 gulden. As a violinist Ordonez took part in chamber music performances in the salons of the aristocracy (see Burney and Zinzendorf), and he was also connected with the court chamber music (described by Hiller), although salaried appointment to that body, at 250 gulden per year, did not come until ...
Thomas Hochradner and Harry White
(b Hirtenfeld, nr St Marein, Styria, 1660; d Vienna, Feb 13, 1741). Austrian composer and music theorist. He represents the culmination of the Austro-Italian Baroque in music. His compositions reflect the imperial and Catholic preoccupations of the Habsburg monarchy no less than does the architecture of Fischer von Erlach or the scenic designs of the Galli-Bibiena family. His Gradus ad Parnassum (1725) has been the most influential composition treatise in European music from the 18th century onwards.
Fux's exact date of birth is unknown. According to his death certificate he was 81 when he died; Flotzinger (Fux-Studien, A1985, p.34) has conjectured that he may have been born on 5 January 1660. His antecedents were of peasant stock from the village of Hirtenfeld. His father, Andreas (b before 1618; d 1708), married twice, and Johann Joseph may have been his eldest child. Although a peasant, Andreas Fux was a parish official attached to the church at St Marein and came into contact with a number of musicians, among them the Graz organist J.H. Peintinger and the Kantor Joseph Keller, who probably influenced his son's early musical development. It is also possible, given his father's position, that Fux sang in the parish choir....
[Antonius Berardi Andree de TeramoZacarZacaraZaccaraZacharie]
(b ?Teramo, c1350–60; d after May 19, 1413). Italian composer, singer and scribe. The publication in 1983 of a document of 1390 confirmed him (rather than Nicolaus Zacharie, or somebody else entirely) as composer of the songs headed ‘M Çacherias Chantor Domini nostri pape’ in the Squarcialupi Codex ( I-Fl Pal.87), and the composer's portrait in the manuscript absolutely confirms the identity (see below). Now Zacharie can be credited with only three pieces and the rest is by Zacara da Teramo, who thereby emerges as one of the most prolific, resourceful and widely copied composers of the time.
A contract of 5 January 1390 refers to ‘magistro Antonio Berardi Andree de Teramo alias dicto vulgariter Zacchara’, requiring him to teach music to the residents of the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome, and to produce an illuminated antiphoner for the adjoining church (Esposito, 1983, 1992); the words ‘optimo perito et famoso camtore, scriptore et miniatore’ further imply that he was not particularly young, therefore perhaps born as early as ...
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....
(b Ḃurg Schöneck, Pustertal, c1376; d Merano, Aug 2, 1445). South Tyrolean poet. His life is unusually well documented in archival material and his own autobiographical songs, and several portraits of him survive. He came from the noble south Tyrolean family of Villanders and Wolkenstein, and was the second son of Friedrich von Wolkenstein and Katharina von Trostberg, who had seven children in all. Much of Oswald’s life was spent travelling – he was already spending time away from home by the age of ten. He is known to have been in the Tyrol in 1400, when his father died, but he was soon on the road again. His second period of travel, during which he took part in King Ruprecht’s Italian campaign, led to financial difficulties which in turn led to a dispute with his elder brother, not the last time that he was involved in family arguments. However, he also forged links with the church and with secular authorities – his political activities were linked to his membership of the ‘Elephant League’ (...
Robert N. Freeman
[Johann Karl Dominik]
(b Melk, Aug 4, 1748; d Vienna, Nov 8, 1833). Austrian composer, music historian and keyboard performer. He received his earliest musical training from Johann Leuthner, bass at the Benedictine abbey of Melk. In 1758 he went as a choirboy to Lilienfeld, where he learnt the violin, clavichord and organ and made his first attempts at composition. During vacations he revisited Melk to study the music of the new organist J.G. Albrechtsberger. Stadler continued his formal education after 1762 at the Jesuit College in Vienna. In November 1766 he entered Melk as a novice, took his vows the following year and was ordained on 13 October 1772. After directing the abbey’s theological studies for eight years he served briefly as chaplain in Wullersdorf in 1783. He was elected prior of Melk on 17 November 1784.
Favoured by Emperor Joseph II during the suppression of the Austrian monasteries, Stadler was appointed abbot of Lilienfeld in ...
John D. Drake, Zdeňka Pilková, Douglas A. Lee, Thomas Bauman, and Nancy B. Reich
Bohemian family of musicians, active in Germany.
John D. Drake, revised by Zdeňka Pilková
(b Mstětice, Bohemia, April 25, 1686; d Nowawes, nr Potsdam, Dec 4, 1757). Village musician. A linen weaver, he married in 1706 Dorota Brixi of the well-known Bohemian musical family. Of their six children surviving infancy, five became musicians: (2) Franz, (3) Johann, (4) Georg, (5) Joseph and (6) Anna Franziska.
The removal of the Benda family to Prussia in 1742 was arranged by Frederick the Great at the instigation of Franz, Jan Jiří’s eldest son, who already held a prominent position in the king’s orchestra. It is not clear, however, how much this was due to a recognition of the whole family’s musical potential and how much to the religious persecution of the parents in Bohemia after a visit to Franz in 1734.
Douglas A. Lee...
Margaret Grave and Jay Lane
(b Vienna, Nov 2, 1739; d Neuhof [now Nový Dvůr], nr Sobĕslav, Bohemia, Oct 24, 1799). Austrian composer and violinist. After promising early success in Vienna, he settled for a modest career as a provincial Kapellmeister and administrator. He composed voluminously despite the official responsibilities that occupied him for much of his life, and his generally high standard of craftsmanship earned him recognition as a leading figure of the Viennese Classical school.
Born to Paul Ditters, costumier at the imperial court and theatre in Vienna, and his wife Anna (née Vandelin), Ditters enjoyed the benefits of a Jesuit school education, private tutoring and, from the age of seven, violin lessons. About 1750 he began studies with the violinist J.P. Ziegler, and before long he was accepted into the orchestra of the Schottenkirche. Soon afterwards he was recruited as a Kammerknabe by Prince Joseph Friedrich von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, whose Kapelle was one of the best in Vienna; from ...
C. Matthew Balensuela
This article focusses on anonymous music theory texts written during the Western Middle Ages and early Renaissance (to about 1600), currently assumed to be anonymous and not closely associated with a known person, which have been edited and published in modern times.
Numerous artefacts of music have survived to modern times without clearly identifying their author. These include musical works, pictures, court records, theoretical treatises, and other documents. The corpus of anonymous theoretical works, therefore, comprises only a portion of all anonymous works in the history of music. In music theory, anonymous sources primarily span the time from antiquity to the early Renaissance, when texts were copied by hand. After the advent of printing, few theoretical works were transmitted anonymously.
Several groups of anonymous treatises are excluded from this article, such as works of ancient Greek, Byzantine, or Arabic music theory, works closely associated with named writers, and unpublished anonymous works. In addition, several significant anonymous works, such as the ...
Michael F. Robinson
(b Roccaforzata, nr Taranto, May 9, 1740; d Naples, June 5, 1816). Italian composer. He was one of the most successful and influential opera composers of the late 18th century.
Paisiello received his education first at the Jesuit school in Taranto and then, between 1754 and 1763, at the Conservatorio di S Onofrio, Naples. At about the time he left the S Onofrio he attracted the attention of a young nobleman, Giuseppe Carafa, who appointed him musical director of the small opera company he was then forming. It was due to Carafa that Paisiello acquired his first commissions to write works for the Teatro Marsigli-Rosi, Bologna, in 1764. The second of these, I francesi brillanti, failed at its first performance but was more successful when it was transferred to Modena two weeks later. This led to a commission from Modena for some new music for an opera originally by Guglielmi, ...