Michael Haydn - Contemporary composers





  Bernhard Henrik Crusell was born on October 15th 1775 in Uusikaupunki (Nystad), Finland. He was born into a family of bookbinders, who showed little interest in his musical ambitions. He somehow got hold of a simple two-key clarinet and taught himself to play. His obvious talent impressed a local landowner, who took him to Sveaborg to hear the military band there.

He made quite some impression there and was easily persuaded to enroll in the regiment's music corps. After a while he was appointed conductor of the regimental band and moved with it to Stockholm, where he was to be based for the rest of his life. Here he had lessons in musical theory from Abbé Vogler.

In 1795 he gave his first solo concert. Not quite satisfied with his technique, he went to Berlin to study with Franz Wilhelm Tausch in 1798. In the following years he earned a reputation as one of the finest soloists of his time. He was invited to St.Petersburg and Paris, where he had lessons from Lefévre and Gossec. From 1801 to 1833, he was first clarinet in the Swedish court orchestra.

Crusell was fluent in several languages and had a strong interest in literature. He joined the Swedish Gothic Society and set music to many poems. He died in Stockholm, Sweden on July 28th 1838.


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