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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » H » Hofmann, Leopold



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Leopold Hofmann (8/14/1738 - 3/17/1793)

Leopold Hofmann was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the most gifted and influential composers of his generation. Although a church musician by profession, Hofmann was also an important and prolific composer of instrumental music. His symphonies, concertos and chamber works were played all over Europe and the avidity with which they were collected is attested to today by the large number of surviving manuscript copies.

The son of a senior and highly-educated civil servant, Hofmann revealed his musical abilities early on and at the age of seven joined the chapel of the Empress Dowager Elisabeth Christine as a chorister. As a member of the chapel he received an extensive musical education studying keyboard - and later composition - with Georg Christoph Wagenseil, one of the brightest stars in the Viennese musical firmament, and violin, possibly with Giuseppe Trani, Dittersdorf's teacher.

Hofmann's earliest known compositions date from the late 1750s and include symphonies, flute concertos and a number of small-scale sacred works. His reputation must have spread well beyond Vienna by 1760 since Sieber, the Parisian publisher, printed six of his symphonies that year and a number of the great Austrian monastic houses, including Göttweig, began assiduously collecting his music from around this time.

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