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Günter Thomas

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 ...

Article

Peter Branscombe

revised by David J. Buch

(b Vienna, Dec 5, 1768; d Vienna, Nov 26, 1822). Austrian composer, Kapellmeister and organist. He succeeded his father as organist at the Schottenstift in Vienna, and by late 1789 had joined Schikaneder’s company at the Theater auf der Wieden (later the Theater an der Wien) as Kapellmeister and composer. He probably coordinated and certainly contributed to a number of successful collaborative operas at that theatre, particularly the series Der dumme Gärtner aus dem Gebirge, and numerous fairy-tale singspiels such as Der Stein der Weisen (1790) and Der wohltätige Derwisch (1791). He also arranged a number of foreign-language operas in German translation for the theatre. He supervised rehearsals of Die Zauberflöte during Mozart’s absence in Prague and conducted the opera from the third performance. From 1797 he had an able co-director in Seyfried. Apart from his own works, he arranged the piano scores of the Süssmayr-Schikaneder ...