Müller, Wenzel, prominent Austrian conductor and composer; b. Tyrnau, Moravia, Sept. 26, 1767; d. Baden, near Vienna, Aug. 3, 1835. He studied with the Kornitz schoolmaster, learning to play all the instruments of the orch. and beginning to compose as a child; continued his studies at the Raigern Benedictine foundation, where he received further instruction from its choirmaster, Maurus Haberbauer, and then completed his studies with Dittersdorf in Johannisberg. In 1782 he became 3rd violinist in Waizhofer’s theater company in Brunn, attracting notice with his successful Singspiel Das verfehlte Rendezvouz, oder Die weiblichen Jäger. After a concert tour with the Willmann family (1786), he settled in Vienna as Kapellmeister at the Leopoldstädter-Theater. His first success as a composer there came with his Singspiel Das Sonnenfest der Braminen (Sept. 9, 1790), which was followed by such popular stage works as (Kaspar) Der Fagottist, oder Die Zauberzither (June 8, 1791), Die Schwestern von Prag (March 11, 1794), Das lustige Beilager (Feb. 14, 1797), Die zwölf schlafendenJungfrauen (Oct. 12, 1797), and Die Teufelsmühle am Wienerberg (Nov. 12, 1799). After serving as Kapellmeister at Prague’s German Opera (1807–13), he returned to the Leopoldstädter-Theater as Kapellmeister in 1815; among the subsequent popular scores he wrote for it were Tankredi (April 25, 1817), Der verwunschene Prinz (March 3, 1818), Aline, oder Wien in einem andern Weltteil (Oct. 9, 1822), Der Barometermacher auf der Zauberinsel (Dec. 18, 1823), Die gefesselte Phantasie (Jan. 8, 1828), and Der Alpenkönigund der Menschenfeind (Oct. 17, 1828). His daughter was Thérèse Grünbaum. Muller was the most successful composer of light stage works for the Vienna theater of his day, and several of his works remain a part of the Austrian repertoire. A prolific composer, he produced some 250 theatrical pieces alone. He also composed syms., sacred music, chamber pieces, piano works, and several enduring songs.
W. Krone, W. M.: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der komischen Oper (Berlin, 1906); L. Raab, W. M.: Ein Tonkünstler Altwiens (Baden, 1928).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire