Georg Pasterwiz

Biography

Born: June 7, 1730; Bierhütten, Austria   Died: January 26, 1803; Kremsmünster, Austria  
Georg Pasterwiz was a Benedictine monk whose sideline of musical composition led him to create more than 500 extant works. Born in Bierhütten, a town now located in southern Germany, Pasterwiz entered the monastery in Kremsmünster in 1749 and was ordained in 1755; during that time, he studied at the University of Salzburg and music with Johann Ernst Eberlin, who would later provide some lessons in composition to the young Mozart. In 1759, Read more Pasterwiz completed his education and returned to the monastery at Kremsmünster to teach, where he spent the remaining 44 years of his life. Pasterwiz acted in a variety of capacities for the monastery at Kremsmünster and was at different points its treasurer and dean. In 1785, Pasterwiz traveled to Vienna and successfully fended off Emperor Joseph II's decision to dissolve the monastery. It still stands in January 2007; Franz Süssmayr once studied there, as did Franz Schubert in his youth.

Pasterwiz is best known to posterity through his keyboard music, published under four opus numbers from 1790-1803; Pasterwiz's writing for keyboard demonstrates his solid contrapuntal ability and skill as an organist. Pasterwiz wrote a surprising amount of secular theater music, as well, as the monastery Kremsmünster mounted an annual theatrical entertainment, a tradition that continued after his passing. A large amount of Pasterwiz's music is sacred, which is not surprising given that he was a monk. The vast majority of this music is unpublished and remains little known, but a Requiem Mass he wrote has gained some currency, as for a long time it was mistaken to be the work of Michael Haydn. Read less
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