About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide





Viennese Culture: Haydn Foto: Karl-Heinz Liebisch | pixelio.de

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 various keyboard instruments. It was at that time that he started to compose his first work.

By 1766 he was assigned Kapellmeister for the Esterhazy family in Eisenstadt, one of the leading Hungarian Families, where he was in charge of up to 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 and a doyen of his era. Beethoven was one of his pupils. Mozart, a great admirer of Haydn's art, dedicated as many as 6 string quartets to him.
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 in his work as musical director. During this time he composed the string quartets "Rider" and the "Emperor Quartet" and the world famous song "God Save The Emperor Franz". This song was later used as German national anthem, obviously, the lyrics were adapted. It is in use as Germany's national anthem till today.

His famous quote "My language is spoken throughout the world" prooves him to be highly aware of the international appeal of (his) music transcending language and other barriers.