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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » R » Ryba, Jakub Jan

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Jakub Jan Ryba (1765 - 1815)

Jakub Jan Ryba was born the son of a teacher, organist and composer on 26 October 1765 in Prestice. When he was seven, the family moved to Nepomuk, where he also started attending school. His father taught him to play the violin, the piano and the organ. His first attempts at composition from that time have not been preserved. In the late 1770s the young Ryba started learning the basics of Latin grammar and Greek. His father, wanting to give his clever son a higher education, tried to secure one of the secular scholarships for him, but without success. Help finally came from Ryba’s uncle, Jan Vanicek, who took him to Prague in 1780 to study at the Piarist Gymnasium. Apart from his studies, he devoted much of his time to music. He learnt the cello, and went on to play in the St Wenceslas Seminary and in church choirs. He also played the organ in the Church of St Salvator. Having started to earn an income by playing the cello or organ in church choirs and selling his compositions, Ryba could afford to go to the opera. In this way he became familiar with the music of many composers, especially Italian opera composers, and also with the music of Mozart. Later, he was to conduct Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in Prague.




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