Austrian composer Josef Haydn. So called "Father of the Symphony" and also "Father of the string quartet". He was an important influence on Mozart, Beethoven and many more.
Born: Rohrau, Austria, March 31, 1732 - May 31, 1809
Father: Mathias Haydn, wheelwright
Mother: Maria Koller, cook
Siblings: Michael Haydn, composer, Johann Evangelist Haydn - tenor
Partners: His first great love, Therese Keller, became a nun. He later married her sister Maria Anna - not a happy marriage.
He had numerous extra marital affairs.
Children: May have had children with his long term mistress singer Luigia Polzelli.
Grave: Bergkirche, Eisenstadt, Burgenland, Austria.
A small man with dark, pock marked skin, an ugly big nose, a jutting
chin and protruding lower lip. Not a pretty sight - yet he was admired
and pursued by women.
He had a great sense of humour and was a cheerful soul with a warm heart. He once wrote of himself "As God has given me a cheerful heart, He will forgive me for serving Him cheerfully."
He was a very hard worker and very methodical. Every day was full with concerts and rehearsals yet he managed to produce a vast volume of compositions.
He put on good clothes before composing because "“I’m going to commune with God and I must be appropriately dressed!”
- 104 Symphonies
- over 90 String Quartets
- 32 Piano Trios
- 62 Piano Sonatas
- Concertos for Piano, Cello, Trumpet, Harpsichord
- Stabat Mater
- 14 Masses,
- Oratorios: The Creation, The Seasons
- Choral Works
- over 330 songs
- "Young people can learn from my example that something can come from nothing. What I have become is the result of my hard efforts."
- "I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original."
- "I was never a quick writer, but composed with great care and efforts."
- “If you want to know whether you have written anything worth preserving, sing it to yourself without any accompaniment."
- "Whenever I think of God I can only conceive of Him as a Being infinitely great and infinitely good. This last quality of the divine nature inspires me with such confidence and joy that I could have written even a miserere in tempo allegro."
and a joke.....
Q: Why couldn't Mozart find his piano teacher?
A: He was Haydn!
Art Alive; An excellent summary of his Life, Times and Music
Answers.com various reference sites including Wikipedia
Project Gutenberg - 'Haydn' by J.Cuthbert Hadden. Read it online or download it.