Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Master of musical theory, and teacher of Hummel and Beethoven, b. at Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria, 3 February, 1736; d. in Vienna, 7 March 1809. He began his musical career as a choir-boy at the early age of seven. The pastor of St. Martin's, Klosterneuburg, observing the boy's talent and his remarkable industry, and being himself an excellent musician, gave him the first lessons in thoroughbass, and even had a little organ built for him. Young Albrechtsberger's ambition was so great that he did not even rest on Sundays and holidays. To complete his scientific and musical studies he repaired to the Benedictine Abbey at Melk . Here his beautiful soprano voice attracted the attention of the future Emperor Leopold, who on one occasion expressed his high appreciation and presented the boy with a ducat. The library at Melk gave him the opportunity to study the works of Caldara Fux, Pergolese, Handel, Graun etc. The result was the profound knowledge of music which gave him a high rank among theorists. Having completed his studies he became organist at the cathedral there, where he remained for twelve years. He next had charge of the choir at Raab in Hungary, and at Mariatfel. Subsequently he went to Vienna having been named choir-director of the church of the Carmelites. Here he took lessons from the court organist, Mann, who was highly esteemed at that time. Mann became his friend, as did also Joseph and Michael Haydn, Gassmann, and other excellent musicians. In 1772 he obtained the position of court organist in Vienna, which Emperor Joseph had promised him years before. This position he held for twenty years, and then became choir-master at St. Stephen's . Here he gathered about him a circle of pupils, some of whom were destined to become musicians of immortal fame. Among them Ludwig von Beethoven, Joseph Eybler, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Joseph Weigl and others. The Swedish Academy of Music at Stockholm made him an honorary member in 1798. Albrechtsberger will probably always hold a high rank among musical scientists, his treatise on composition especially will ever remain a work of importance by reason of its lucidity and minuteness of detail. His complete works on thoroughbass, harmony and composition were published, in three volumes, by his pupil, Ignaz Von Seyfried. His many church compositions, on the other hand, while technically correct and ornate, are dry, and betray the theorist. Of his compositions, only twenty-seven are printed, out of a total of 261; of the unpublished remainder, the larger part is preserved in the library of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde at Vienna .


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 1st, 2014 Image

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter