Schuster, Joseph

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Schuster, Joseph

Schuster, Joseph, distinguished German conductor and composer; b. Dresden, Aug. 11, 1748; d. there, July 24, 1812. After initial training with his father, a Dresden court musician, and J.G. Schürer, he pursued studies on a scholarship in Italy with Girolamo Pera (1765–68). After serving as a church composer in Dresden (1772–74), he returned to Italy and completed his studies with Padre Martini in Bologna; wrote operas for Venice and Naples, and was named honorary maestro di cappella to the King of Naples. Settling in Dresden in 1781, he was active as a conductor at the court church and theater; with Seydelmann, he shared the duties of Kapellmeister to the elector from 1787. Schuster assumed a leading position at the Dresden court, both as a conductor and as a composer. Of his some 20 works for the stage, the Singspiel Der Alchymist oder DerLiebesteufel (Dresden, March 1778) won great popularity in Germany. He was an admired composer of orch. works, sacred music, chamber music, and pieces for the fortepiano. His Padua String Quartet in C major (1780) was formerly attributed to Mozart.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire