Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf - Biography

Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf Biography

Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (November 2, 1739 – October 24, 1799) was an Austrian composer and violinist.

He was born in Vienna as Carl Ditters. He had violin lessons from Giuseppe Trani and compositions lessons from Giuseppe Bonno. He served in a number of courts, including as Kapellmeister to the Prince-Bishop of Breslau from 1770 to 1795. He died in de:Neuhof, Bohemia.

His works are little performed today, but he was well known in his day, and is considered an important composer of the Classical era. After some early Italian opera buffa, he composed a number of German Singspiele, with Der Apotheker und der Doktor (1786, generally known today as Doktor und Apotheker) in particular being a tremendous success in his lifetime, playing in houses all over Europe. His symphonies (over a hundred in number) are also considered fine pieces with their folk-like melodies and witty passages; they include twelve based on Ovid's Metamorphoses (six of which have survived to the present day). He also wrote oratorios, cantatas, concertos (including one for the double bass), chamber music, piano pieces and other works. His memoirs, Lebenbeschreibung, were published in Leipzig in 1801.

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