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Austrian Composers


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Austrian Composers

  1. 1. Austrian Composers Classical: Mozart | Beethoven | Haydn | Schubert | Strauss Jr | Strauss Sr | Brahms Modern: Falco | DJ Ötzi Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) From the very early age of 4 years, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart received musical education from his father. At the age of 5 he was presented as an infant prodigious and performed his first musical tour, through Europe. On this travels it became very clear that Mozart was not only interested in performing, but also in composing music and soon his first Sonatas were published in Paris in 1765. Mozart moved to Vienna in 1781, where he frantically composed operas like "Die Entführung aus dem Serail", the "Zauberflöte", "Le Nozze di Figaro", "Don Giovanni" and chamber music like "Die Kleine Nachtmusik" In 1782, Mozart married Kostanze Weber and in 1787 he was appointed "Kammerkompositor" by the emperor, which did not only promote him into a higher social status, but took care of a steady and fair income. The last three years in Mozart's life where his most successful ones, but because of his excessive lifestyle, his potential fortune grew smaller and smaller and on the 5th of December 1791 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died, without finishing his Requiem for the Count F. Walsegg-Stuppach. His work includes 20 operas, 60 symphonies, 31 contertos or piano and violin and many more. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Ludwig van Beethoven received his musical education by his father Johann, who was a singer and instrumentalist in the service of the Elector of Cologne at Bonn. In 1787 Beethoven moved to Vienna where he worked and studied with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn. In 1795 he made his first public appearance at the Vienna Burgtheater. He was strongly bound to aristocracy and the Viennese society and Beethoven often dedicated his work to them. Their support or employment left Beethoven a lot of time to life and work as a free artist. In 1794 he first noticed an impairment in his hearing, which was diagnosed incurable in 1802. Around this period he composed the "Eroica Symphonie" and the "Symphonie No.5" Beethoven hearing problem increased rapidly from 1801 to 1818. In 1814 he presented his one and only opera "Fidelio", in 1815 he conducted his last concert and around 1818 he went completely deaf. In his late period, nearly deaf he composed the "Choral Symphony, No.9". Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) At the age of 8 Joseph Haydn was sent to Vienna as a choirboy at St. Stephen's Cathedral. Until 1750 he studied violin and different keyboard instruments and started to compose his first work. By 1766 he was assigned Kapellmeister for the Esterhazys in Eisenstadt, one of the leading Hungarian Families, where he was in charge of around 20 musicians. After the death of Prince Nicholas in 1790 and the dissolving of the Esterhazy orchestra, Haydn moved back to Vienna, where he became one of the leading musicians. From 1791 to 1792 he stayed in London, where Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctor of music. In 1795 the Esterhazy orchestra was resurrected by Prince Nikolaus II and Haydn was given a lot of freedom, to work as a musical director. During this time he composed the string quartets "Rider" and the "Emporer Quartet" and the world famous song "God Save The Emperor Franz", today known as the German national anthem.
  2. 2. Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Throughout his childhood Franz Schubert developed a dedication to music and studied piano, organ, violin and singing. By 1814 he had already produced a lot of work, including piano pieces, string quartets, his first symphony and a three act opera. Although Schubert was forced by his family to take on a job as a teacher in his father's school, he still continued to compose and he managed to produce more music. During this period he gathered with friends for domestic evenings dedicated to Schubert's music, later known as the "Schubertiads". Song like "Der Wanderer" and "Die Forelle" where introduced. In 1822 he got infected by syphilis and was in deep financial needs, marking this time as a dark period. But Schubert still kept creating new work like "Schöne Müllerin" the "Eighth Symphony ("unfinished")" and a string Quartet d Minor ("Death and the Maiden"). Although he was known at his time as a songwriter, his work included a lot of Symphonies, String Quartets, piano sonatas and more. Johann Strauss Jr. (1825-1899) Johann Strauss Jr. was born on the 25th of October 1825, as the first son of Johann Strauss Sr. Although his father, a famous musician himself, forbid him a musical career, he rather cared for violin lessons, than his schoolwork. In 1844 he performed his first concert at the Dommayer in Hietzing and soon, he was the most dangerous competitor to his father. When his father died in 1849, Strauss Jr. had already established himself as the Viennese Waltz King. He conquered big crowds of fans with his tours through Europe and America and trigged a world wide Strauss hysteria. Jaque Offenbachs operettas inspired Johann Jr. to trift towards Stagework himself titeling his work as comical operas. His first operetta "Die Fledermaus" had its premiere in 1871, and in 1874 he released "Der Zigeunerbaron". He was married three times, he wrote 17 operettas and an uncountable amount of waltzes and his "Schöne Blaue Donau" is kind of an unofficial anthem for Austria to this day. Johann Strauss Sr. (1804-1849) Johann Strauss Sr. was born on the 14th of March 1804, as the son of an innkeeper. The location of his father's inn at the Danube Channel and the neighboring harbor with it's rafts and boats from different countries and the music played by the sailors, influenced Johann Sr. enthusiasm for popular dance music. After the death of both parents he began working as an apprentice for bookbinding in 1816 and started studying the violin. He got hired for the chapel of Michael Pamer as violin player but soon Strauss decided to become independent with his own orchestra and after a longer period of existential and financial problems he managed his breakthrough. He started to tour through Europe where he celebrated his popularity and he even played at the crowning of Queen Victoria in London. His success was enormous and he became conductor of the first civil regiment, where he composed the "Radetzky Marsch". Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Johannes Brahms was born near Hamburg and as a son of a musician, he obtained a musical education. Brahms was traveling around Europe and gave concerts of his own music and after he became the manager of the Vienna Singers' Academy in 1862 and in 1868. He settled in
  3. 3. Vienna for permanent, which became his second home. From 1872 to 1875 he conducted the "Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien". Although Brahms was employed a lot of times, he rather praised the life of a free musician, like most of the composers at this time. His work includes 4 Symphonies, 2 Serenades, vocal pieces with orchestra and a lot of chamber music. Falco (1957-1998) Falco was born in Vienna as Johann Hölzl. Starting at an early age, Falco's interest was turned to music. After playing in different bands like Drahdiwaberl and the Spinning Wheel he decided to start a solo career and his first album in 1982 "Einzelhaft" was a bestseller at once. His musical style was unique in the Austrian music scene and he managed to combine German lyrics with the starting arising rap music from America. Although his follow up album "Junge Römer", released in 1984 was highly critical acclaimed, he actual world wide breakthrough came with his third album "Falco 3" in 1985. Including the single "Rock Me Amadeus", with was a number one hit in Austria, Germany, the UK and the USA, it was his best-selling album ever. In 1986 he released his new album "Emotional", which turned out to be an enormous success too. While his fame was rising, Falco's personal life went downwards, rattled with marriage, alcohol and drug problems. In 1992 he managed a midsize come back with the album "Nachtflug". In 1996 he fled the Austrian media and life and moved to the Dominican Republic. After releasing two hit singles and just having finished his new album, Falco died in a car crash on the Dominican Republic in 1998. His last album "Out Of The Dark" was released posthumously. DJ Ötzi (1971 - ) DJ Ötzi was born as Gerry Friedle in St Johann in Tyrol. After his mother gave him up for adoption, he was raised by his grandmother. In school he was always an outsider and after he failed the School of Agriculture, he started an apprenticeship as a cook. At the age 19, DJ Ötzi decided to conquer the world and soon ended up homeless, living on the street. After four months, he pulled himself together and started a career as a DJ in the local dance club scene. Soon he started DJing all around Tyrol and Mallorca, working himself up as a star in rural Austria. Even the diagnosis of testicle cancer in 1998, which DJ Ötzi was healed of, couldn't slow down his career. His friend and producer Claus Marcus talked him into singing "Der Anton aus Tirol", DJ Ötzi agreed and landed a hit at once. DJ Ötzi was on top of the Austrian, German and UK charts. All his follow up singles have been hits. DJ Ötzi's singles are less significant for an interesting musical styles, but for easy listening party and drinking music. Right now, DJ Ötzi is one of the most successful Austrian musicians ever.