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Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf




Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (November 2, 1739 – October 24, 1799) was an Austrian composer, violinist, and silvologist. He was a friend of both Haydn and Mozart.

Ditters was born in Vienna, Austria, as Johann Carl Ditters. His father was a military tailor in the Austrian Imperial Army of Charles VI, for a number of German-speaking regiments. After retiring honorably from his military obligation, he was provided with royal letters of reference and a sinecure with the Imperial Theatre. In 1745, the six-year-old August Carl was introduced to the violin and his father's moderate financial position allowed him not only a good general education at a Jesuit school, but private tutelage in music, violin, French and religion.

Ditters was a child prodigy, and he began composing music at a young age. He was also a talented violinist, and he performed in public concerts from the age of 12.

In 1761, Ditters was appointed concertmaster of the orchestra of the Prince-Bishop of Salzburg. He held this position for 12 years, and during this time he composed a number of operas, symphonies, and chamber music.

In 1773, Ditters was granted a knighthood by the Empress Maria Theresa. He adopted the additional surname "von Dittersdorf" at this time.

In 1778, Ditters left Salzburg and traveled to Italy. He spent two years in Italy, and during this time he studied with the composer Niccolò Jommelli.

In 1780, Ditters returned to Vienna. He continued to compose music, and he also worked as a conductor and a teacher.

Ditters died in Vienna in 1799. He was 60 years old.

Ditters was a prolific composer, and he wrote over 400 works, including operas, symphonies, chamber music, and vocal music. His most famous works include the operas Doktor und Apotheker (1786), Der lustige Schuster (1787), and Das Schulmeisterlein (1786); the symphonies in D major (1779) and E-flat major (1781); and the violin concertos in D major (1774) and E-flat major (1775).

Ditters' music is characterized by its grace, humor, and technical virtuosity. He was a master of melody and orchestration, and his music is still enjoyed by audiences today.

    Dittersdorf Carl Ditters von (1739-1799)      
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