Holzbauer, Ignaz (Jakob)

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Holzbauer, Ignaz (Jakob)

Holzbauer, Ignaz (Jakob), noted Austrian composer; b. Vienna, Sept. 17, 1711; d. Mannheim, April 7, 1783. He studied law and at the same time received instruction in music from members of the choir at St. Stephen’s in Vienna. He also perused Gradus ad Parnassum by Fux, whom he met later and who advised him to go to Italy for further studies. He then proceeded to Venice, but soon returned home. For a brief period he served as Kapellmeister to Count Rottal of Holesov in Moravia. In 1737 he married Rosalie Andreides, a singer, and shortly thereafter they moved to Vienna, where he became a conductor and she a singer at the Court Theater; they also spent several years in Italy. In 1751 he was named Oberkapellmeister in Stuttgart. In 1753 he became Kapellmeister at the court of the elector Karl Theodor in Mannheim, a post he held until the court moved to Munich in 1778. He visited Rome in 1756, Turin in 1758, and Milan in 1759, during which visits he produced several operas. Holzbauer was greatly respected as a composer, especially for his church music; Mozart heard one of his masses in Mannheim in 1777 and found it excellent. He was an important figure among symphonic composers of the Mannheim school, writing some 65 works for orch. Of his operas, Günther von Schwarzburg (Mannheim, Jan. 5, 1777) is historically significant for its departure from Italian convention; it is thoroughly German in subject and treatment, and is noteworthy for the inclusion of accompanied recitative in place of the dialogue of the Singspiel. It was publ, in Mannheim in 1776, and reprinted in Denkmäler Deutscher Tonkunst, VIII-IX (1902). His other operas include II Figlio delle selve (Schwetzingen, 1753), L’isola disabitata (Schwetzingen, 1754), Vissipile (Mannheim, Nov. 4, 1754), Don Chisciotte (Schwetzingen, 1755), I Cinesi (Mannheim, 1756), Le nozze d’Arianna (Mannheim, 1756), Il Filosofo di campagna (Mannheim, 1756), La clemenza di Tito (Mannheim, Nov. 4, 1757), La Nitteti (Turin, 1758), Alessandro nell’Indie (Milan, 1759), Ippolito ed Arida (Mannheim, Nov. 4, 1759), Adriano in Siria (Mannheim, Nov. 4, 1768), and Tancredi (Munich, Jan. 1783). He also wrote ballet music for operas by J. A. Hasse: L’Ipermestra (Vienna, Jan. 8, 1744) and Arminio (Vienna, May 13, 1747). In addition, he composed 4 oratorios, 21 masses (also a Deutsche Messe), 37 motets, a Miserere, and other church music. His instrumental works, in addition to the syms., include concertos, divertimentos, string quartets, string quintets, etc. See U. Lehmann, ed., Ignaz Holzbauer: Instrumentale Kammermusik, in Das Erbe Deutscher Musik, 1st series, XXIV (1953).


H. Werner, Die Sinfonien von I. H. (diss., Univ. of Munich, 1942).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire