Franz Joseph Haydn






    Hailed as the “Father of the Symphony” and the “Father of the String Quartet”, Franz Joseph Haydn’s plethora of contributions to classical music helped to shape it into the art form we know today.

    Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was born in the town of Rohrau, Austria. He was above all a prankster, and aside from practical jokes he also liked to slip musical jokes into his works, especially delighting in surprising his audience. One such example is in his Symphony No. 94 in G Major “Surprise”. The nickname given is no coincidence, for Haydn starts out the second movement slowly and softly, in a tiptoeing manner. By doing so, he lulls the audience to sleep only to playfully wake up them by inserting a sudden, resounding chord to wake them up.

    Up until the end of his life he enjoyed a long service with his employer, Count Esterházy of Austria. His job as the court composer entailed living in the Esterházy castle in the small town of Eisenstadt, Austria. As he later reflected, being away from the influence of his contemporaries would actually work in his favour as he was subsequently forced to develop his own original voice. Being made to compose new works every week for the count also encouraged Haydn to expand on genres in a way that would solidify their place in classical music.

    Esterházy castle

    Such inventions can be seen in his innovation of genres. Although he did not invent them, Haydn was the first to master and perfect the symphony and string quartet. Nicknamed “Papa Haydn”, for he birthed the popularity if nothing else of these genres, he wrote 104 symphonies, cementing its importance in the standard repertoire. Similarly, though string quartets did exist before he wrote them, Haydn was the first to give every voice an equal part, revealing the beauty of what could be compared to having an intimate conversation with dear friends.

    Andrea Sim
    Andrea Sim
    Andrea Sim is the music director and principal conductor of the klpac String Orchestra. A seasoned orchestral violinist, she has led and played solo with numerous orchestras and plays regularly with various chamber groups. Andrea graduated with first class honours on a full scholarship from UCSI University’s Institute of Music with a Bachelor of Classical Music (Hons) degree.
    Share this


    Deepening International Music Education Cooperation – Professor Xiaogang Ye

    Deepening International Music Education Cooperation - Professor Xiaogang Ye Leads Team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen Conservatoire on Visit to the...

    RBC Lunchtime concert series review – Yin Yu

    In the latest interpretation of Maurice Ravel's "Gaspard de la Nuit" by Yin, performed at a lunchtime concert in the recital hall at Royal...

    Global Musicians’ League International Music Summer School: A Harmonious Success:

    The Global Musicians’ League (GML) stands as a vibrant beacon in the world of classical music, seamlessly blending tradition with a forward-thinking vision. Established...

    Recent articles

    More like this