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Cliff Eisen

(b Raab, Feb 8, 1746; d Salzburg, Jan 18, 1784). Austrian composer and violinist. He enrolled at the Salzburg University Gymnasium in 1759 and subsequently took instruction as a discant at the Kapellhaus; he may have been a pupil of Leopold Mozart. He served at St Peter after his voice broke in 1763 and in 1767 he was appointed to a position at court. In late 1768 and 1769 Hafeneder began teaching the violin at the Kapellhaus, taking over the position of the recently deceased Wenzel Hebelt, who had taught the violin there during Leopold Mozart's frequent absences from Salzburg. Apparently Hafeneder thought highly of his own violin playing: in a petition to Archbishop Schrattenbach he wrote, ‘I venture to say that no-one at court approaches me in violin playing – to say nothing of surpassing me – and at your gracious command I shall attempt to prove this’. In a letter of ...

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Margaret Grave and Jay Lane

[Ditters, Carl]

(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 ...