Composer. He received his earliest music lessons from his father, a local music master. Later he studied philosophy and law in Prague and, breaking off his studies because of illness, became a violinist at the court of Count Franz von Fünfkirchen. One of the six symphonies that he composed for the count was performed in 1785 by Mozart in his subscription concerts in Vienna. He then traveled to Venice, where he became secretary and music teacher for the family of Prince Ruspoli. Subsequently he traveled to Florence, Rome, Bologna, Naples, Paris, and London; in London he had frequent contacts with Haydn during Haydn's visit to the city in 1791-92. After a short period in the employ of Count von Sickingen (in Munich and Schwetzingen), in 1804 he received a post in Vienna as imperial composer and Kapellmeister. There he composed operas and ballets for nearly three decades; after his retirement in 1831 he lived his last years in penury. He wrote an autobiography. Works include stage music (Das zugemauerte Fenster Vienna, 1810; Federica ed Adolfo, Vienna, 1812; Robert, 1815; Il finto Stanislao, 1818; Das Ständchen, 1823; Der Geburtstag, 1828; Hans Sachs im vorgerückten Alter, 1834); over forty symphonies and other orchestral works; much chamber music; secular songs; eleven Masses, two vespers, and other sacred vocal works.