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Biography of

Sigismund von Neukomm

10 jul 1778 (Salzburg) - 3 apr 1858 (Paris)
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Sigismund von Neukomm

Sigismond Neukomm or Sigismund Ritter von Neukomm [after ennoblement as a knight] (born Salzburg, 10 July 1778 - Paris, 3 April 1858) was an Austrian composer and pianist.

Neukomm first studied with the organist Weissauer and later studied theory under Michael Haydn, though his studies at Salzburg University were in philosophy and mathematics. He became honorary organist at the Salzburg University church in 1792, and was appointed chorus-master at the Salzburg court theater in 1796. Neukomm was kapellmeister at St. Petersburg's German theatre from 1804 to 1809, and in the 1810s he spent time in Brazil, South America, where he popularized the works of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Mozart. He worked at D. João VI's court in Rio de Janeiro.

Neukomm's compositional output is large. With the older composer's approval he made arrangements of Haydn's works, including the oratorios The Seasons and The Creation. He wrote a clarinet quintet, several organ voluntaries, ten operas, incidental music for four plays, 48 masses, 8 oratorios, and a large body of smaller works including vocal pieces, works for piano solo, and about 200 songs.

In 1814 Neukomm was responsible for erecting a tombstone to the memory of Haydn over his first grave in the Hundsturm cemetery in Vienna. The inscription included a puzzle canon composed by Neukomm himself. He had previously been one of Haydn's pupils, and was also in regular contact with the composer in the last months of his life.


  • Vincenzo Cernicchiaro. Storia della musica nel Brasile. Milano, Fratelli Riccioni, 1926.
  • Don Randel. The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music. Harvard, 1996, p. 633.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sigismund von Neukomm. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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