Kauer, Ferdinand, Moravian-born Austrian conductor and composer; b. Klein-Tajax (baptized), Jan. 18, 1751; d. Vienna, April 13, 1831. As a boy he played organ in a local Jesuit church, then was organist at the Jesuit seminary in Tyrnau, Hungary, where he took courses in philosophy and medicine. He went to Vienna about 1777, where he studied composition with Heidenreich and Zimmermann. He then became a violinist in the orch. of the Theater in der Leopoldstadt about 1781. He was made director of the theater’s music school (1789) and later 2nd Kapellmeister at the theater, scoring a success with his Das Donauweibchen (Jan. 11, 1798), which was subsequently performed all over Europe. After serving as Kapellmeister in Graz (1810–11), he returned to the Leopoldstadt theater. He then was Kapellmeister at the Theater in der Josefstadt (1814–18), and subsequently made a precarious living as a 2nd violinist in the Leopoldstadt theater orch. (1821–30). He lost almost all of his possessions, including his MSS, in the flood of 1830. He wrote about 200 works for the stage, as well as sacred music, syms., concertos, etc. He publ. Singschule nach dem neuesten System der Tonkunst (1790) and Kurzgefasste Generalbass-Schule für Anfänger (1800).
K. Manschinger, F. K.: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Wiener Singspiels um die Wende des 18. Jahrhunderts (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1929).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire