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Friedrich Witt (01/01/1770 - 01/01/1836)

Friedrich Witt was born in 1770 at Niederstetten, the son of a cantor and court clerk. In the late 1780s he entered the service of the court of Oettingen-Wallerstein as a cellist, taking composition lessons there with Antonio Rosetti (Anton Rösler), who was then Court Kapellmeister. Witt undertook concert tours in 1793 and 1794 in Thuringia and to the courts at Ludwigslust and Potsdam with the clarinettist Franz Joseph Beer, and in 1796 they went to Vienna, where Beer played a clarinet concerto written for him by Witt and one of the latter’s symphonies was played at the Augarten. There was no return to Wallerstein. In 1802, after the success of his oratorio Der leidende Heiland (The Suffering Saviour), Witt entered the service of the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg as Kapellmeister. From 1806 to 1808 Witt served as director of music at the Würzburg Theatre, for which he provided operas, now largely lost. He left Würzburg in 1824 and during his later years served for a time as a court composer of Prince Carl Friedrich zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg.

Keith Anderson


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