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Claus Reinländer

(b Lochovitz [now Lochovice], western Bohemia, March 2, 1748; d Donaueschingen, July 31, 1816 ). Bohemian composer, oboist, cellist and viol player. In his youth he was bound to the service of Countess Netolická (Netolitzky) and studied the oboe in Prague with Jan Št'astný (i) and the cello with Franz Joseph Werner, who also taught Josef Reicha. There are divergent accounts of his precipitous departure from Prague and his visits to Regensburg and Vienna. From 1774 Fiala was an oboist in the Kapelle of Prince (Fürst) Kraft Ernst von Oettingen-Wallerstein in Swabia, where his colleagues included Ignaz von Beecke, Josef Reicha and Antonio Rosetti. The Wallerstein parish records mention the baptism of an illegitimate son, ‘Franciscus Xav. Josephus’, on 26 October 1776, the father being described as ‘Josephus Viola Musicus auliens’.

In 1777 Fiala was appointed oboist in the Munich Hofkapelle of Elector Maxmilian III Joseph. He met Mozart in Munich, and a lifelong friendship between the Fiala and Mozart families developed. In ...


(b Salzburg, Dec 24, 1773; d London, May 21, 1812). Austrian pianist and composer. His earliest musical instruction was as a chorister at Salzburg Cathedral from 1783 to 1786, where he studied with Leopold Mozart and Michael Haydn. In 1790, on his father’s advice, he went to Vienna, apparently to study with the younger Mozart, though it is unclear whether he ever became his pupil and how close their relationship actually was. Some authorities claim, however, that it was through Mozart’s intervention that Wölfl was appointed composer to Count Ogiński in Warsaw, where in 1792 he made his first public appearance as a pianist.

Having established a reputation both as a performer and a teacher, Wölfl returned to Vienna in 1795, where his talents propelled him to the forefront of public attention. He was soon regarded as the only serious rival to Beethoven; indeed, the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung...


Christine de Catanzaro

(b Niederachen, nr Inzell, Upper Bavaria, Oct 1, 1729; d Salzburg, Dec 22, 1777). German composer and organist. His father, Ulrich Adlgasser (1704–56), was a teacher and organist. On 4 December 1744 he registered in the ‘Grammatistae’ class at Salzburg University, and in the same year he became a chorister at the Salzburg court chapel. His brothers Joseph (b 1732), later organist at Laufen, and Georg (b 1736) were also choirboys in Salzburg. While a student he sang and acted in several Schuldramen, including seven by J.E. Eberlin. He studied the organ and violin, and probably also received instruction in composition from Eberlin.

Adlgasser became court and cathedral organist in 1750, shortly after Eberlin’s promotion to the post of Hofkapellmeister. According to Leopold Mozart’s account of the Salzburg musical establishment (in Marpurg’s Historisch-kritische Beyträge, iii, 1757) Adlgasser’s duties also included the accompaniment of court chamber music on the harpsichord and composing for both the court and the cathedral. After ...


Horace Fitzpatrick

revised by Thomas Hiebert

(b Jarmeritz [now Jaroměřice], June 20, 1752; d Berlin, Jan 24, 1792). Bohemian horn player who specialized in cor alto playing. He was presumably a pupil of Joseph Matiegka (1728–1804), an eminent horn teacher in Prague (Dlabacž). In Paris in 1770, while still a teenager, Palsa formed a duo with the cor basse player Carl Türrschmidt thus initiating what would become a lifelong horn-playing partnership. Between 1773 and 1781 Palsa and Türrschmidt played at the Concert Spirituel on at least 14 occasions (Pierre). In 1781 Joseph Raoux made one of his four silver cors solo for Palsa.

Palsa was noted for his mastery of cantabile style in the high register and praised for the beauty and purity of his tone. Forkel wrote ‘One can not hear anything more beautiful than the little duets that Palsa and his partner Türrschmidt play with each other on two silver horns, especially those that are in minor keys’. As a horn duo the fame of Palsa and Türrschmidt was matched only by that of the brothers Böck. Together with Türrschmidt, Palsa wrote two sets of six horn duos opp.1–2 (Paris, by ...


Walter Gürtelschmied

revised by Siegfried Gmeinwieser

(b Rome, April 19, 1605; d Rome, June 17, 1672). Italian composer. He was the son of a confectioner from Lorraine, Robert Venouot (italianized as Benevolo). From 16 February 1617 to 15 March 1623 he was a choirboy at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, where he was taught music by Ugolini and also studied grammar and Latin. When the administration of the church passed to the Oratorio di S Filippo Neri, Benevoli, who was still only 18, obtained his first position as maestro di cappella of S Maria in Trastevere, Rome, in February 1624. He remained there until 1630, when he moved to a similar post at Santo Spirito in Sassia, succeeding Gregorio Allegri and also filling the posts of organist and music master. At the same time he took part in the solemn festivals celebrated at S Luigi dei Francesi and S Pietro. From 5 June 1638 to 24 September 1644...


Dwight Blazin

(b Rohrau, Lower Austria, bap. Sept 14, 1737; d Salzburg, Aug 10, 1806). Austrian composer, younger brother of Joseph Haydn. A prolific composer in many genres, he was especially admired for his sacred music.

Michael Haydn was born in the village of Rohrau on the Leitha river, near the current border of Austria and Hungary. He went to Vienna at the age of eight and entered the choir school at the Stephansdom, where he will have participated in numerous performances of sacred works by the most prominent Viennese composers, especially the Kapellmeister, Georg Reutter (ii). By his 12th birthday he was earning extra money as a substitute organist at the cathedral and had, reportedly, performed preludes and fantasies of his own composition. About 1753 his voice broke and he was dismissed from the choir school. After this he probably had some affiliation with the local Jesuit seminary; a biographical sketch of ...


James L. Jackman

revised by Rebecca Green

(b Naples, 1764; d ?after 1812). Italian composer. After starting to compose at the age of 18 or 19, within six years he had written 14 operas and gained an international reputation; he then disappeared from public notices, though Gerber, about 1812, wrote of him as still living. His first stage work, a revision of the Goldoni-Ciampi intermezzo I tre gobbi rivali (originally La favola de’ tre gobbi, 1749, Venice), was produced in Carnival 1783 during a period when Neapolitan theatres were experimenting with the French fashion of presenting several short comic pieces instead of a full-length opera. This was the third of three short works commissioned by the Teatro dei Fiorentini; as the other two were written by Giacomo Tritto, Prota-Giurleo regarded Fabrizi’s contribution as evidence that he was Tritto’s pupil. He worked in northern Italy during 1784–5. In 1786 he was in Rome where his election to the ...


Andrew D. McCredie


(b Feldsberg [now Valtice, Czech Republic], March 23, 1750; d Ludwigslust, May 13, 1812). German double bass player and composer. He apparently received his earliest musical training from the Feldsberg organist Franz Anton Becker. Several copies in Sperger's hand of theoretical works survive, and contrapuntal exercises in the Schwerin Wissenschaftliche Allgemeinbibliothek testify to his studies under Albrechtsberger in Vienna. He is said to have made his début as a composer there at the age of 18, and a symphony and a double bass concerto of his were performed by the Tonkünstler-Societät in 1778.

As one of the leading double bass players of the day, Sperger saw service in several important court musical establishments, first in that of Cardinal von Batthyani at Pressburg (1777–83), then (1783–6) with the Counts von Erdődy at Fidisch (near Ebebrau), Burgenland. A supposed period in the service of Prince Esterhazy under Haydn is not documented. Following the death of Count Ladislav Erdődy, Sperger returned to Vienna, but apparently without employment, and he had to make a living as a copyist. In the search for a position Sperger undertook several extended journeys (between ...


Cliff Eisen

City in Austria. From its founding in the 8th century until the dissolution of the archdiocese in 1806, it was the seat of a series of prince-archbishops whose court was the centre of the city's musical life. Salzburg was incorporated into Austria in 1816; in the 20th century it became specially noted for its festival.

The two most important centres for the development of liturgical chant in Salzburg and its missionary districts were the abbey of St Peter, founded by St Rupert, and the cathedral, founded by St Virgilius in 774. The earliest musical sources from St Peter are in St Gallen notation; those of the cathedral follow the Messine tradition. In 798 Arno, the first Archbishop of Salzburg (798–821), instructed that services at the cathedral were to be held ‘following the tradition of the Romans’; statutes from 799 show that congregational hymns were permitted in addition to the psalm settings and songs sung by the monks. The earliest evidence for the practice of early polyphony in Salzburg is a 14th-century, gothically neumed graduale, in St Peter; a 12th-century copy of Aribo Scholasticus's ...


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 Knöffel, 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 ...


George R. Hill and Joshua Kosman

(b Brüx [now Most], May 3, 1729; d Vienna, Jan 20, 1774). Bohemian composer. He may have been educated at the Jesuit Gymnasium in Komotau (now Chomutov). The most reliable biographical sources name the regens chori at Brüx, Johann Woborschil (or Jan Vobořil), as his teacher in singing, the violin and the harp. Against his father’s wish he decided to make music his profession and left home as a boy, making his way to Italy where he may have studied with Padre Martini. No details of his service under Count Leonardo Veneri in Venice are known. The first datable musical event of Gassmann’s life was the production of his opera Merope at the Teatro S Moisè, Venice, in Carnival 1757. His operatic success in Italy led to his being called to Vienna as ballet composer and successor to Gluck (1763). During the year of mourning on the death of Franz I (...


Sven Hansell

revised by T. Herman Keahey

(Maria Baldassare)

(b nr Mantua, June 11, 1740; d Salzburg, March 1, 1817). Italian composer. He probably received his earliest musical training in Mantua, where his first opera, Alessandro nell’Indie was well received in 1768 and where he became a tenor at the church of S Barbara. The maestro di cappella, G.B. Pattoni, described him as a ‘reliable tenor … as well as a good organist and composer’ (29 January 1768). In 1770 he met the Mozarts, then on their first Italian journey, and copied one of Wolfgang’s masses (probably k66). In 1773 he competed unsuccessfully to become Pattoni’s successor and on 16 July 1779 was appointed vice-maestro of S Barbara. For the inauguration of the Teatro Scientifico, the private theatre of the Reale Accademia of Mantua, he wrote the cantata Virgilio e Manto (1769). He served the academy as secondo maestro until 1783...


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 ...


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 ...