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Milton Steinhardt

(b Kortrijk or Harelbeke, c1529; d Vienna, Jan 8, 1567). Flemish composer. The year of his birth is deduced from a document dated 1543 which gives his age as 13 and records his acceptance as a choirboy at Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk in Kortrijk. Although the church records state that he came from Kortrijk, in the matriculation registers of the University of Leuven his name appears as ‘Jacobus Vat de Arelbecke’. When his voice changed in 1546 the church gave him a scholarship, and he entered the university on 29 August 1547. His name appears in a roll of benefices given to members of the chapel of Emperor Charles V in 1550; according to it he was a tenor, and already married. By 1 January 1554 he had become Kapellmeister to Charles’s nephew, Archduke Maximilian of Austria (later Emperor Maximilian II), a position that he held until he died. His relationship with Maximilian was evidently a close one, and his broadside motet ...

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Rita Benton

Austro-French family of composers, musicians, publishers and piano makers, active in France. (For the firm of piano makers, see Pleyel.)

(b Ruppersthal, June 18, 1757; d Paris, Nov 14, 1831). Composer, music publisher and piano maker. He founded a major publishing house and a piano factory and his compositions achieved widespread popularity in Europe and North America.

Pleyel’s baptismal certificate in the parish office names his father Martin, a schoolteacher, and his mother Anna Theresia (Maria Christina Theresa in MGG1). He is said to have studied with Vanhal while very young, and in about 1772 he became Haydn’s pupil and lodger in Eisenstadt, his annual pension being paid by Count Ladislaus Erdődy, whose family at Pressburg was related to Haydn’s patrons, the Esterházys. The count showed his pleasure at the progress of his protégé by offering Haydn a carriage and two horses, for which Prince Esterházy agreed to provide a coachman and fodder....