Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

At the age of 8 Joseph Haydn was sent to Vienna as a choirboy at St. Stephen's Cathedral. Until 1750 he studied violin and different keyboard instruments and started to compose his first work.

By 1766 he was assigned Kapellmeister for the Esterhazys in Eisenstadt, one of the leading Hungarian Families, where he was in charge of around 20 musicians. After the death of Prince Nicholas in 1790 and the dissolving of the Esterhazy orchestra, Haydn moved back to Vienna, where he became one of the leading musicians. From 1791 to 1792 he stayed in London, where Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctor of music.

In 1795 the Esterhazy orchestra was resurrected by Prince Nikolaus II and Haydn was given a lot of freedom, to work as a musical director. During this time he composed the string quartets "Rider" and the "Emporer Quartet" and the world famous song "God Save The Emperor Franz", today known as the German national anthem.

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