Pisendel, Johann Georg

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Pisendel, Johann Georg

Pisendel, Johann Georg , distinguished German violinist, teacher, and composer; b. Cadolzburg, Dec. 26, 1687; d. Dresden, Nov. 25, 1755. He entered the Ansbach court chapel as a chorister at 10, and became a violinist in the Court Orch. there at 16. He studied singing with Pistocchi and violin with Torelli (1709), and later was a pupil of Vivaldi in Venice (1716), becoming his close friend; completed his studies with Montanari in Rome (1717). In 1709 he appeared as a soloist in a concert by Albinoni with the Leipzig Collegium Musicum, and then deputized for Melchior Hoffmann with the ensemble and in the Opera orch. In 1712 he joined the Dresden Court Orch. He traveled with the Elector of Saxony to France (1714), Berlin (1715), Italy (1716–17), and Vienna (1718), and later assumed the duties of Konzertmeister in Dresden (1728), a title he formally received in 1730; also took that post with the orch. of the Dresden Opera (1731). He accompanied the Elector to Berlin (1728, 1744) and Warsaw (1734). Among his outstanding pupils were J.G. Graun and Franz Benda. Albinoni, Telemann, and Vivaldi were only a few of the eminent composers who wrote works for him. Pisendel’s compositions reflect German, Italian, and French characteristics. His extant works include 7 violin concertos, 4 concerti grossi, a Sinfonia, 2 sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo, and a Sonata for Solo Violin.


H. Jung, J.G. P. (1687–1755): Leben und Werk (diss., Univ. of Jena, 1956).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire