Schwanenberg, Johann Gottfried

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Schwanenberg, Johann Gottfried

Schwanenberg, Johann Gottfried, German keyboard player, music theorist, and composer; b. probably in Wolfenbüttel, c. 1740; d. Braunschweig, March 29, 1804. He studied with G.C. Schurmann and Ignazio Fiorillo in Wolfenbüttel; after continuing his training in Venice on a court stipend with Hasse, Gaetano Latilla, and Giuseppe Saratelli (1756–61), he returned to the Braunschweig court as Kapellmeister (1762–1802). He was praised by his contemporaries as both a keyboard virtuoso and as a composer. In one of his theoretical papers, he argues for the deletion of H from the German musical scale. He produced 14 operas to Italian librettos, all first perf. in Braunschweig, including Adriano in Siria (Aug. 1762), Solimano (Nov. 4, 1762), and Antigono (Feb. 2, 1768); also various sacred vocal works, 23 syms., 4 harpsichord concertos, 25 harpsichord sonatas, etc.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire