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Born: 1739, near Hradec Králové, Bohemia
Died: 1813, Vienna, Austria
Vanhal was born bonded to a local nobleman; he went to Vienna in 1760 at the behest of the nobleman's wife and found the success there that eventually enabled him to buy his freedom. He toured Italy (1769-71) in preparation for a position at the Dresden court of Baron Ignaz Wolfgang Reisch but backed out of the job and returned to Vienna, where he promptly suffered a mental collapse. During the 1760s and '70s, he composed more than 70 symphonies, but afterwards concentrated on keyboard music and sacred music. He remained in Vienna until his death, an important contributor to the development of the Viennese classical style.
Sinfonia comista (ca. 1775-78)
Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia, Grodd (Naxos)
Missa solemnis (before 1782)
Soloists, Tower Voices New Zealand, Arcadia Ensemble, Grodd (Naxos)