Georg Benda

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Georg Benda

Georg Anton Benda (Czech: Jiří Antonín Benda; baptized 30 June 1722 - 6 November 1795)[1] was a Bohemian composer.

Life[change | change source]

Early Life[change | change source]

Benda was born in Benátky nad Jizerou, Bohemia. His father was Jan Jiří Benda. He had three brothers, Franz Benda, Johann Benda, and Joseph Benda. The Benda family was a musical family. All four brothers became musicians in life. In 1739, he studied at the Jesuit college in Jičiń.[2] He moved to Prussia with his family in 1742.[3] His brother Franz was a violinist there. Franz invited his family to live in Prussia.

Career[change | change source]

In 1750, Benda became the Kapellmeister for Frederick III, Duke of Gotha.[3] He was in charge of the music in the court of Gotha. He wrote some operas and cantatas in Gotha. In 1765, he went to Italy to study for six months. He visited Venice, Bologna, Florence, and Rome. He returned to Gotha in 1765. When Frederick III died, he focused on writing music for the theater. He wrote Singspiel, a kind of opera that has spoken words and music. His melodrama Ariadne auf Naxos was a success. Mozart heard a performance of Ariadne auf Naxos in Mannheim.[4]

Benda left Gotha in 1778. He went to Hamburg and Vienna. He performed some of his melodramas in Vienna. He returned to Gotha in 1779.

Benda died in Köstritz, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg in 1795.

Music[change | change source]

Besides writing theater music, he also wrote sinfonias, keyboard sonatas, keyboard concertos, and other chamber music.

References[change | change source]

  1. Don, Randel (1996). The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 63. ISBN 9780674372993.
  2. Lorenz, Franz (2014). Georg Anton Benda. De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110841985. ISBN 978-3-11-003568-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Drake, John D.; Pilkova, Zdeňka; Lee, Douglas A.; Bauman, Thomas; Reich, Nancy B. (2001). "Benda Family". In Pilková, Z; Bauman, Thomas (eds.). Oxford Music Online. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.43903. ISBN 978-1-56159-263-0. Retrieved 20 February 2022. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. "Georg (Anton) [Jirí Antonin] Benda". Here Of A Sunday Morning. Retrieved 20 February 2022.