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Westenholz or Westenholtz, Carl August Friedrich

Westenholz or Westenholtz, Carl August Friedrich

Westenholz or Westenholtz, Carl August Friedrich, German tenor, conductor, and composer; b. Lauenburg, July 1736; d. Ludwigslust, Jan. 24, 1789. He entered the choir of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Hofkapelle in 1749, where he studied voice with A. C. Kunzen and cello with F. X. Woschitka. In 1753 he was made Kammersänger to the court. When the Hofkapelle moved to Ludwigslust in 1767, he was appointed its Konzertmeister and director. From 1770 until his death he was its Kapellmeister, where he raised standards to a high level. He became best known as a composer of sacred vocal music, namely of the cantatas Die Hirten bey der Krippe zu Bethlehem (1774), Die Auferstehung Jesu Christi (1777), Das Vertrauen auf Gott (1787), and Ist Gott für mich (n.d.), the oratorio Golgotha (n.d.), and various chorales. He also wrote secular vocal music and some instrumental works, including 2 harpsichord concertos, a Cello Concerto, a Sonata for Harpsichord and Violin, and keyboard pieces. In 1770 he married the Italian soprano Barbara Lucietta Fricemelica (née Affabili) Westenholz (b. Venice, 1725; d. Ludwigslust, Sept. 20,1776). She became a member of the Schwerin Hofkapelle in 1757, and later was much esteemed as a member of the Ludwigslust court. In 1777 he married the German singer, pianist, and composer (Eleonore) Sophia Maria (née Fritscher) Westenholz (b. Neubrandenburg, July 10, 1759; d. Ludwigslust, Oct. 4, 1838). She studied piano and voice with J. W. Hertel, the Schwerin court composer. When she was about 16 she became a singer at the Ludwigslust Hofkapelle. By 1799 she was Kapell-meisterin there, remaining a leading figure until her retirement in 1821. She also toured throughout Germany and won accolades as a pianist. Among her compositions were vocal and keyboard pieces. They had 2 sons: Friedrich Westenholz (b. Ludwigslust, May 28, 1778; d. Berlin, March 12, 1840), was an oboist and composer. He studied with his mother and J. F. Braun. He served as a chamber musician in the Berlin Hofkapelle until his retirement in 1828. Among his works were concertante syms., chamber music, piano pieces, and songs. Carl Ludwig Cornelius Westenholz (b. Ludwigslust, Jan. 12, 1788; d. there, Feb. 4,1854), was a violinist, pianist, and composer. From 1809 to 1837 he was a violinist in the Ludwigslust Hofkapelle, and then went with it to Schwerin. He composed a Divertimento for Harpsichord, Violin, and Bass and some keyboard pieces. Carl August Friedrich also had an illegitimate son, Friedrich Carl Westenholz (b. Cramon, Feb. 12, 1756; d. Ludwigslust, March 15,1802), who was a cellist and organist. From 1774 to 1781 he was a cellist in the Ludwigslust Hoskapelle. After studies in Lübeck, he returned to the Ludwigslust Hofkapelle in 1783 and became the piano teacher of the duke’s children.

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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