Tomášek, Václav Jan Křtitel [Tomaschek, Wenzel Johann]
- Adrienne Simpson
- and Kenneth DeLong
[Tomaschek, Wenzel Johann]
(b Skuteč, April 17, 1774; d Prague, April 3, 1850). Bohemian composer and teacher. He was the dominant musical figure in Prague during the first half of the 19th century. His influence was spread throughout Europe by his many students (Voříšek, Kittl, Dreyschock, Hanslick and Würfel) and through his many widely distributed songs and his piano music. Steeped in Mozartian classicism, he was the centre of the Mozart cult that prevailed in Prague throughout the early years of the 19th century.
Tomášek was the youngest child of an impoverished cloth merchant. His musical education was supported by scholarships, the financial aid of his elder brother and by his own musical skills. When he was nine he was sent to Chrudim to attend elementary school, where he studied the violin and singing with the cantor P.J. Wolf. At 13 he became a scholarship student at the minorite monastery in Iglav (Jihlava), where he sang alto in the choir and received further musical instruction from Donat Schuberth. In ...