Conradin Kreutzer


Born: November 22, 1780 Died: December 14, 1849
Not to be confused with French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, to whom Beethoven famously dedicated a sonata, Conradin Kreutzer was a German composer and conductor well known in his day but neglected since his death. He learned music theory and several instruments in his youth, but studied law briefly at the end of the 1790s until his father's death in 1800 freed him to pursue a career in music. By 1804 he turned up in Vienna, where he met Haydn and probably studied with Albrechtsberger. During this period Kreutzer composed several stage works, mostly in the singspiel style, but had little luck getting them performed until 1810. He supported himself by giving lessons, and touring Germany demonstrating Franz Leppich's musical contraption, the panmelodicon. Kreutzer then settled in Stuttgart, where he finally found some success; at least three of his operas were staged there in 1811-1812, and he was awarded the post of Hofkapellmeister.

Political intrigues drove Kreutzer from Stuttgart in 1816, but not before he had befriended poet Johann Ludwig Uhland, with whom he would collaborate many times over the years. After Stuttgart, Kreutzer toured repeatedly and took a series of Kapellmeister posts, ultimately attaching himself to theaters in Vienna, where he was able to produce his operas with increasing success. He traveled more in the 1840s, working in Germany and accompanying his two opera-singing daughters on tour.

Kreutzer's music resembles that of Weber to some degree. A few of his charming songs are performed and recorded from time to time, but today he is known, if at all, mainly for his well-crafted Septet for winds and strings, Op. 62.

There are 48 Conradin Kreutzer recordings available.

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