Franz Joseph Haydn March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809 “The Father of Symphony” By Alex T-G
Life • Franz Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria. Though his parents could not read music, his family was very musical and sung often. When he was 6, his parents knew he had a musical gift and sent him to live 7 miles away in Hainburg with Johann Frankh. Life was harder in the Frankh household. Hunger and teasing often bothered Haydn. When he matured, he lost his singing voice. He had pulled a few pranks though and was kicked out of his residence.
Haydn was taken in by Johann Spangler. During his time with Spangler, he acquired many jobs. He would study the works of composers such as C.P.E Bach, who he said was one of his influences to compose. People began to notice Haydn’s new compositions and he was hired by Count Morzin, thus starting his first full time job as the Kapellmeister, leading and composing music for the smaller orchesta. In 1760 he married Maria Keller, but their unhappy marriage split them apart.
Morzin soon had financial difficulty and had to drop Haydn, but he was picked up by the Esterházy family, and was made Vice Kapellmeister. When the full Kapellmeister, Gregor Werner died, Haydn was appointed to the position, where he worked for 30 years, writing tons of compositions. Though he longed to visit people he had befriended before in Vienna. He wrote to them a lot, mostly Anne Genzinger, whose death at the young age of 43 was a large blow to him, and it is said that one of his compositions was a response to her death.
Haydn also knew Mozart, who wrote six quartets called the “Haydn” quartets. He also knew Beethoven, but their relationship was rather tense at times. In 1795 he moved back to Vienna, where he wrote his final compositions before he became ill in 1802. He died of his illness in 1805 and at his funeral, Mozart’s Requiem was played. Haydn went down as one of the most famous composers of all time.
Compositions • Haydn was famous for many of his pieces, such as: • The Seasons • His 104 Symphonies • His 14 Operas • His 70+ String Quartets • Many more compositions