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Toeschi, family of prominent German musicians of Italian descent, originally named Toesca:

(1) Alessandro Toeschi, violinist and composer; b. probably in Rome, before 1700; d. Mannheim (buried), Oct. 15, 1758. He was descended from a family of the nobility. After touring in England and Germany, he served as court musician to the Landgrave Ernst Ludwig of Hesse in Darmstadt (1719-24); then was 2ndmaître des concerts at the Württemberg court in Stuttgart (1725-37). He subsequently settled in Mannheim as Konzertmeister about 1742, and was director of instrumental church music at the Palatine court there from about 1750. His extant works consist of a Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings, and Continuo, and a Sonata for Violin and Continuo. He had 2 sons who became musicians:

(2) Carl Joseph Toeschi, violinist and composer, the most outstanding member of the family; b. Lud wigs-burg (baptized), Nov. 11, 1731; d. Munich, April 12, 1788. He studied with Johann Stamitz and Anton Filtz, and in 1752 he became a violinist in the Mannheim Court Orch.; was made its Konzertmeister in 1759, and in 1774 was named music director of the electoral cabinet; followed the court to Munich in 1778. He was one of the leading composers of the Mannheim school. Among his output were over 66 syms., some 30 ballets, and much chamber music.

(3) Johann (Baptist) (Maria) Christoph Toeschi, violinist and composer, known as Toesca de Castellamonte; b. Stuttgart (baptized), Oct. 1, 1735; d. Munich, March 3, 1800. He studied with Johann Stamitz and Christian Cannabich; in 1755 became a violinist in the Mannheim Court Orch., and was also director of the Court Ballet there (from 1758); was named Konzertmeister in 1774. In 1778 he followed the court to Munich, where he was music director (from 1793); also was director of the court chapel in 1798; that same year his family was granted hereditary Italian nobility and the right to use the title “de Castellamonte.” He wrote a melodrama, Dirmel und Laura (Munich, 1784), and at least 4 ballets, but his only extant compositions are 6 trio sonatas (Paris, 1768), a Sonata for Viola d’Amore and Continuo (ed. by D. Newlin and K. Stumpf, Vienna, 1963), and 3 viola d’amore pieces. His son, Karl Theodor Toeschi (b. Mannheim, April 17, 1768; d. Munich, Oct. 10, 1843), was also a composer; was active at the Munich court (1780-89); was named Bavarian chamber composer in 1801. He wrote an opera, a ballet, syms., overtures, a Violin Concerto, and other works, most of which are lost.


I R. Münster, Die Sinfoien T.s (diss., Univ. of Munich, 1956).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire