Ignaz (Jakob) Holzbauer

(1711 - 1783)

Ignaz Holzbauer

Austrian composer. Against the wishes of his father, who wanted him to study law, he took instruction in singing, violin, clavier, and in Fux's Gradus from members of the St. Stephen's choir in Vienna. Fux reportedly examined his counterpoint exercises and recommended that Holzbauer study further in Italy. Around 1730 he traveled to Venice, but returned to Vienna after a short time, He received a post as Kapellmeister for Count Rottal of Holesov in Moravia. Little is known of his activities during the late 1730s; apparently he was engaged at the Viennese Imperial Theater around 1740. then traveled briefly to Milan and Venice. In 1751 he was appointed Kapellmeister in Stuttgart. Two years later, after the successful performance of his opera Il figlio delle selve (Schwetzingen, 1753), he was called to the Mannheim court as Kapellmeister to Karl Theodor, in whose service he remained for twenty-five years. There his operas, oratorios, and symphonies exerted a substantial influence on that court's already flourishing musical life, When the court moved to Munich in 1778, Holzbauer, nearly 70, remained in Mannheim, where he continued teaching and composing until his death. Among his stage works is the German opera Günther von Schwarzburg (Mannheim, 1777); others included Don Chisciotte, "opera semi-ridicola" (Schwetzingen, 1755); La clemenza di Tito (Mannheim, 1757); and Alessandro nell'Indie (Milan, 1759). Other works include sacred oratorios (La Betulia liberata, 1760); Masses and motets; ballet scores; some 70 symphonies; chamber and instrumental music (string quartets, notturni, sonate da camera, etc.).

A Partial Ignaz Holzbauer Discography  |  XIIA: The Mannheim School