Michael Haydn - Contemporary composers






  Johann Georg Albrechtsberger was born in Klosterneuburg, Germany on February 3rd 1736. From the age of seven, Albrechtsberger was a choirboy with the Augustinians in Klosterneuburg, where he also studied the organ and composition. After studying at Melk Abbey from 1749 and at the Jesuit seminary in Vienna 1754, he was employed as organist at Raab in 1755, at Maria Taferl (from 1757), and back in Melk (1759-65).

In 1765, he settled in Vienna where he had a series of posts as organist. In 1772 he became second court organist and in 1792 promoted to First organist. He became Assistant Kapellmeister at St. Stephen's Cathedral in 1791, where he was promoted to Kapellmeister in 1793.

Albrechtsberger composed nearly 300 church works, around 300 keyboard works (mainly organ) and over 240 various other works. He was also a highly influential composition teacher. Beethoven studied with him in 1794-5. His ideas were presented in his famous Treatise on Composition (1790), a clearly written and accessible work in which he formulated eighteenth-century theory.

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger died in Vienna on March 7th 1809, less than three months before Josef Haydn. His status in musical history rests mainly on his theoretical writings and his knowledge of counterpoint.


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