Neukomm, Sigismund, Ritter von

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Neukomm, Sigismund, Ritter von

Neukomm, Sigismund, Ritter von, Austrian pianist, conductor, writer on music, and composer; b. Salzburg, July 10, 1778; d. Paris, April 3, 1858. He began his musical studies when he was 7, with Franz Xaver Weissauer, the Salzburg Cathedral organist, then studied theory with Michael Haydn. He also took courses in philosophy and mathematics at the Univ. there, being made honorary organist of the Univ. church (c. 1792) and chorus master of the court theater (1796). He continued his studies in Vienna with Joseph Haydn (1797–1804), after which he was active as a teacher. After serving as conductor of the German Theater in St. Petersburg (1804–08), he went to Paris, where he befriended Cherubini, Gossec, Gretry, Monsigny, and other prominent musicians. He was pianist to Prince Talleyrand, in which capacity he went to the Congress of Vienna (1814), where his Requiem in C minor in memory of Louis XVI was given (Jan. 21, 1815); that same year he was ennobled by Louis XVII and was made Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur. He was taken to Rio de Janeiro by the Duke of Luxembourg (1816), and became active at the court of John VI of Portugal; after the outbreak of the revolution (1821), he accompanied John VI to Lisbon, and then returned to Paris. After again serving Talleyrand, he traveled widely (from 1826); visited England in 1829, and thereafter made frequent trips between London and Paris. Many of his articles appeared in the Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris. His autobiography was pubi, as Esquisses biographiques de Sigismond Neukomm (Paris, 1859). Elisabeth Neukomm (1789–1816), his sister, gained fame in Vienna as a soprano. A prolific composer, he produced over 1,300 works.


dramatic: Die Nachtwächter, intermezzo (Vienna, 1804); Die neue Oper oder Der Schauspieldirektor, intermezzo (Vienna, 1804); Alexander am Indus, opera (St. Petersburg, Sept. 27, 1804); Musikalische Malerei, farce (Moscow, May 1, 1806); Arkona, melodrama (Würzburg, Sept. 21, 1808); Niobé, tragédie lyrique (Montbéliard, 1809); also incidental music to plays. vocal: sacred: Oratorios; cantatas; 48 masses; 27 offertories; 2 Passions; 11 Te Deums; 73 motets and anthems; 236 hymns and chorales; 243 chants and songs; etc. other: 36 choruses, over 150 canons, over 160 quartets and trios, and over 275 arias, songs, romances, etc. instrumental: 2 syms.; 5 overtures; Piano Concerto; 6 phantasies for Orch.; various marches; chamber music; piano music; pieces for Harmonium; arrangements; etc.


G. Pellegrini-Brandacher, S.R. v.N. (und seine Oratorien) (diss., Univ. of Munich, 1936); A. Seebohm, Das deutsche Klavierlied S. N.s: Ein Beitrag zur Musikgeschichte des frühen 19. Jahrhunderts (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1968); R. Angermüller, S. N.: Werkverzeichnis, Autobiographie, Beziehung zu seinen Zeitgenossen (Munich, 1977).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire