Franz Joseph Haydn
Born: March 31,1732 Rohrau Austria
Died: May 31, 1809 Vienna Austria
One of the most prolific of the European composers, with some 1180 compositions or arrangements to his credit.
Choir boy at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna from the early 1740's through 1750. freelance musician and composer from then until early 1759 when he took an appointment as music director for the Count Morzin. From 1759 until 1790 Haydn's work was at the behest of his singular empolyer the hungarian prince Nikolaus Esterházy. After the prince's death 1790 he returned to Vienna from Eszterháza but was retained by the prince's son and grandson for the remainder
of his adult life. His influence can be seen in the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (who dedicated 6 string quartets to him in the 1780's) and Ludwig van Beethoven who briefly studied with him in 1792.
A catalogue of Haydn's work can be found at:
While getting a firm grasp on the scope of an artist's work is seldom an easy task It is particularly complicated in the case of Hadyn. The Opera's (there are 13) failed in his lifetime to hold the fickle attentions of the public, and modern recording of some of them are hard to come by. There exists no readily accesible recorded catalogue of his complete body of work; as there is for example with Beethoven, either the 90+ LP bicentienial edition or the more recent 87 CD Deutche Gramaphone "Complete Beethoven." Haydn's impact on the symphony and string quartet are udeniable, in many regards he laid the footing for future artists in particular Beethoven but also Mozart and others to use these forms for greater expression.