The Austrian composer Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf was an important figure in Vienna during the classical period. He was born in Vienna, the son of a military tailor in the Austrian Imperial Army of Charles IV, and his father’s good financial standing allowed him to receive private violin tuition from the age of 6. By the age of 11, he had his first professional appointment as a violinist, in the orchestra of the Benedictine Church on the Freyung in Veienna’s first district.

In 1765, Ditters accepted the post of court composer, working for the Prince-Bishop of Breslau at the Château Jánský vrch in modern-day Czechia. He remained here for most of his professional career, earning his noble title ‘von Dittersdorf’ before moving back to Vienna. He was well-acquainted with the best composers of the day, and played in a quartet alongside Mozart, Haydn, and Vanhal, Dittersdorf’s pupil. Towards the end of his life he fell out with the Prince-Bishop, and was expelled from service. He spent the last years of his life in the service of another Austrian noble, overseeing operatic productions at the château known as Červená Lhota, in southern Bohemia, and compiling and editing his own music for publication.

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