Franz Krommer, classical music composer

Franz Krommer image

Franz Krommer


Though today he is mostly only recognized for his music for woodwinds, Franz Krommer was a prominent composer during the waning years of the 18th century and the early decades of the 19th. His reputation even rivaled that of Beethoven. Though the two composers were contemporaries in the same city, Krommer's music stylistically had more in common with that of Mozart and Haydn than the burgeoning Romantic period being ushered in by Beethoven. Following his death, Krommer's music eventually faded from the concert stage, overpowered by the looming shadow of the music of Beethoven, and suffering from the confusion brought about by the alternate spellings of his name that his music was often published under.

Krommer was born František Vincenc Kramář on November 27, 1759 in Kamenice in the modern-day Czech Republic. In 1774, he began studying violin and organ with his uncle, Antonín Matthias, in Turán, and later took it upon himself to learn theory and composition. With the help of his uncle, he also served as a temporary organist in either 1777 or 1778. In 1785, he left Turán for Vienna, but was unable to find steady work in the Austrian capital. After about a year, he obtained a position in the orchestra of the Duke of Styrum at Simontornya as a violinist. Krommer was then appointed music director of the Duke's orchestra in 1788, but left the post two years later to accept the position of concertmaster at the Pecs Cathedral.

In 1795, Krommer returned to Vienna, this time more successful than his previous attempt, teaching lessons and eventually taking the post of concertmaster at the court of Duke Ignaz Fuchs three years later. During this time, Krommer's first compositions began to appear, though it is possible that some of them had been composed some years earlier. Krommer remained in the service of the Duke until 1810, during which time he produced a large body of works. In 1811, he accepted the position of ballet concertmaster at the Vienna Hoftheater, then a few years later entered the service of Emperor Franz I. In 1818, he was appointed court composer and director of chamber music, in which position he served until his death. Though he attained this prestigious position, Krommer produced significantly less number of works during this period before his death on January 8, 1831.

Composer Title Date Action
Franz Krommer Oboe Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 37 03/25/2009 Play Add to playlist
Franz Krommer Oboe Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 52 03/25/2009 Play Add to playlist
Franz Krommer Clarinet Concerto E flat Major, Op. 36 (Adagio and Rondo) 07/08/2009 Play Add to playlist