Michael Haydn - Contemporary composers





  Christian Gottlob Neefe was born in Chemnitz, Saxony on February 5th 1748. He received his first musical training at the municipal school as a choirboy. Later, helped by a stipend, he studied law at the University of Leipzig. Having completed his law studies, he dedicated himself to music. In the beginning as a teacher and then as a performer in the concerts of the Thomaskantor Johann Adam Hiller.

In 1776, Neefe followed Hiller – who was engaged as kapellmeister of Seyler's traveling theater – and went on tour with the ensemble round Germany. They ended up in Frankfurt am Main, where he married the adopted daughter of G. A. Benda, the singer Suzanne Zinck. She had travelled with Seyler's company as singer and actress.

In 1779, he joined the Helmut Großmann- theater company and moved to Bonn. In 1782 he became court organist to the Archbiship of Cologne, Prince Maximilian Friedrich. Both the Neefe's were also employed at the Elector's theatre. His substitute was then 12 years old Beethoven, who became his student. Neefe taught him Piano, figured bass and composition. Neefe called the young Beethoven 'the second Mozart', and Beethoven always strongly appreciated his teacher.

Neefe moved to Dessau in 1796, where he died only two years later on January 26th 1798. He left three daughters and a son.

His output includes works for the stage, sacred choral works, songs, works for solo piano, some chamber works and a few orchestral pieces, including a piano concerto.

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