Franz Krommer

From Wind Repertory Project
Franz Krommer


František Krommer (27 November 1759, Kamenice u Jihlavy – 8 January 1831, Vienna) was a Czech composer of classical music, whose 71-year life span began half a year after the death of George Frideric Handel and ended nearly four years after that of Ludwig van Beethoven.

From 1773 to 1776, he studied violin and organ with his uncle, Antonín Mattias Kramár, in Turán. Here he became organist along with his uncle in 1777. In 1785 he returned to Vienna as violinist in the orchestra of the duke of Styria, now in Simontornya in Hungary.

In 1790, Krommer was named Maestro di Cappella at the Cathedral of Pécs, Hungary. He returned again to Vienna in 1795, becoming Maestro di Cappella for Duke Ignaz Fuchs in 1798. From 1813 (and from 1818, Kapellmeister, according to the HOASM biography) until his death in 1831, Krommer succeeded Leopold Kozeluch as composer for the Imperial Court of Austria.

Though Krommer is often overshadowed by classical music titans such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his contributions to Harmoniemusik should not be overlooked. Krommer was a leading composer in the genre during its golden age, writing 33 total works for Harmonie. His output was prolific, with at least three hundred published compositions in at least 110 opus numbers including at least nine symphonies, seventy string quartets and many others for winds and strings, about fifteen string quintets and much sonorous, idiomatic and at times powerful music for wind ensemble, for which he is best known today.

Works for Winds