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(b Gnadendorf, Lower Austria, bap. Dec 5, 1724; d Passau, Aug 6, 1799). Austrian composer, brother of Carl Friberth, with whom he is often confused. He probably received his early musical training from his father, a schoolmaster and organist. The Benedictines of Melk employed him as tenor at their abbey from the middle of 1743 until April 1745 with a salary of 30 florins. He left Melk to study with Giuseppe Bonno in Vienna, where he entered the service of Prince Joseph Friedrich von Sachen-Hildburghausen; in the 1750s he established himself as a successful tenor in the Viennese theatres, performing in the premières of Gluck's Le cinesi (1754, as Silango) and La danza (1755, as Tirsi).

From 1763 until his retirement in 1795 he was music director for the prince-bishops of Passau, where his stage works were performed at the Jesuit College and then, during and after its construction from ...

Article

Reginald Morley-Pegge

revised by Horace Fitzpatrick and Thomas Hiebert

[Stich, Johann Wenzel (Jan Václav)]

(b Zehušice, nr Čáslav, Sept 28, 1746; d Prague, Feb 16, 1803). Bohemian horn player, violinist and composer. His master Count Thun sent him to study the horn, first under Josef Matiegka at Prague, then with Jan Schindelarž at Dobříš; he completed his studies (c1763/4) in Dresden under A.J. Hampel, whose hand-stopping technique he later improved and extended. After his return home (1764) he served the count for four years and then ran away with four colleagues, crossing the border into the Holy Roman Empire, where he assumed his Italian pseudonym. He began travelling through Europe in 1768, breaking new ground as a touring horn virtuoso. He visited England in early 1772, performing at least ten times in London, most often as a concerto soloist (LS). Punto's use of hand-stopping was criticized by some in London (New Instructions; LS), probably because it was still novel, but others were more favourable, such as Burney, who wrote from Koblenz in July or ...

Article

Othmar Wessely

(b Mattinghofen, Upper Austria, Jan 30, 1752; d ?Kuchl [now in Salzburg], between c1827 and 1830). Austrian composer. He received his first musical training from the schoolmaster in Lochen (Upper Austria), and as a boy he was a singer at the Cistercian monastery at Fürstenzell, the Jesuit seminary at Landshut and the Augustinian abbey of St Nikola at Passau. He was a capable pianist and violinist, and abandoned his plans for a university career to become a schoolmaster and organist at Lochen (from 1765), later serving at Kestendorf, Bavaria (from 6 July 1766), Teisendorf (from 1769) and Michelbeuern, near Salzburg (from 1771), where he also worked as a valet at the local Benedictine abbey. On 1 May 1772 he became the organist of the collegiate church in Seekirchen and in 1807 took a post as schoolmaster at Kuchl, near Hallein. Kracher was on friendly terms with Michael Haydn, who prompted his first attempts at composition in about ...

Article

Arend Koole

revised by Albert Dunning

(b Rimini, c 1690; d ?Amsterdam, after Dec 15, 1766). Italian violinist and composer. The earliest known reference to him is in a charter of 15 December 1720, where he is mentioned as a violinist in the cappella of S Marco, Venice: his work here is documented up to 1735. Between 1723 and 1730 he was active in the Ospedale dei Derelitti, Venice, and his Sonate op.1 (Venice, 1729) names him maestro de’ concerti there. In 1731 he applied for a post at Urbino Cathedral, where his presence is documented from 1733: his involvement there was interrupted several times for various journeys. From 27 December 1738 there is again documentation of his activities at Urbino Cathedral, but in the preceding years he seems to have been direttore della musica instromentale at the court of Cardinal Wolfgang Hannibal von Schrattenbach in Brno (as indicated in his Sei sonate...

Article

Christian Speck and Stanley Sadie

(b Lucca, Feb 19, 1743; d Madrid, May 28, 1805). Italian composer and cellist. A prolific composer, particularly of chamber music, with a distinctive and highly wrought style, he is the chief representative of Latin instrumental music during the Viennese Classical period.

Luigi Boccherini (his first baptismal name seems never to have been used), was the third child of the musician Leopoldo Boccherini (1712–66) and his wife Maria Santa, née Prosperi (d Aranjuez, 1776). Leopoldo's activities as a singer, and from 1747 as a second double bass player (contrabassista soprannumerario) in the Cappella Palatina, allowed the family only a modest standard of living in their home town of Lucca. Thanks to intensive parental encouragement, the Boccherini children developed their considerable artistic talents early: Luigi's elder brother Giovanni Gastone (1742–c1800) began a career as a ballet dancer in 1756 (Grossato, 1993...

Article

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 Knöffee, 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 ...

Article

Jochen Reutter

(b ?Holleschau [now Holešov], Dec 1, 1709; d Strasbourg, Sept 12, 1789). German composer of Moravian descent. Holleschau in Moravia is traditionally regarded as his native town, but there is no entry in the Holleschau church records to confirm this. The archives do, however, show that his father Matthias served in this town as a soldier. Richter could therefore at least have spent his childhood there, and his name does appear with the attribute ‘Holleschoviensis’ (‘of Holleschau’) in the registers of the Jesuit seminary at Ungarisch Hradisch (now Uherské Hradiště), where he was a pupil (1722–7). In Richter’s death certificate the remark ‘ex Kratz’ (‘of Hradiště’) may therefore be the result of a confusion between the towns of his birth and his schooling, as is also the case in Marpurg’s description ‘aus Ungarn’ (‘from Hungary’).

Between 1727 and 1736 Richter probably spent some time in Vienna: this is implied by his intensive study of Fux’s ...

Article

Eugene K. Wolf, Fritz Kaiser and Jean K. Wolf

[Stamic]

Bohemian family of musicians. The family can be traced back to Marburg an der Drau in Styria (now Maribor, Slovenia). From there Martin Stamitz emigrated to the Bohemian town of Pardubice, where his name is first recorded in 1665. About 1710 Martin’s son Antonin Ignác (1686–1765) moved to Německý Brod, where he was appointed organist and choirmaster of the Dean’s church and later became a wealthy landowner and town councillor. In 1714 he married Rosina (Rozyna) Böhm von Loisbach; the third of their 11 children, and the first to survive, was (1) Johann Stamitz.

The spelling of the name in contemporary sources is extraordinarily erratic, the most common variants being Stamiz, Steinmetz, Steinmez, Stammiz, Stametz, Stammitz, Staimitz, Stamits and Stammetz. Every known signature by a member of the family uses the form Stamitz, even in documents in which the language and the forms of the first names are Czech....

Article

Member of Mozart family

(b Augsburg, Nov 14, 1719; d Salzburg, May 28, 1787). Composer, violinist and theorist.

He was the son of an Augsburg bookbinder, Johann Georg Mozart (1679–1736), and attended the Augsburg Gymnasium (1727–35) and the Lyceum adjoining the Jesuit school of St Salvator (1735–6), where he frequently performed as an actor and singer in various theatrical productions; he was also an accomplished organist and violinist. In 1737 Leopold broke with his family and matriculated at the Salzburg Benedictine University, studying philosophy and jurisprudence. He took the bachelor of philosophy degree the next year, with public commendation, but in September 1739 he was expelled for poor attendance and indifference. Shortly after, he became a valet and musician to Johann Baptist, Count of Thurn-Valsassina and Taxis, Salzburg canon and president of the consistory; it was to Thurn-Valsassina that Mozart dedicated his ...

Article

Georg Feder and James Webster

(b Rohrau, Lower Austria, March 31, 1732; d Vienna, May 31, 1809). Austrian composer, brother of Michael Haydn. Neither he nor his contemporaries used the name Franz, and there is no reason to do so today. He began his career in the traditional patronage system of the late Austrian Baroque, and ended as a ‘free’ artist within the burgeoning Romanticism of the early 19th century. Famous as early as the mid-1760s, by the 1780s he had become the most celebrated composer of his time, and from the 1790s until his death was a culture-hero throughout Europe. Since the early 19th century he has been venerated as the first of the three ‘Viennese Classics’ (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven). He excelled in every musical genre; during the first half of his career his vocal works were as famous as his instrumental ones, although after his death the reception of his music focussed on the latter (except for ...

Article

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 ...