Cannabich, Christian


A violin-player, composer and orchestral conductor, who earned the esteem and admiration of Mozart, Burney and other musicians and critics for his remarkable execution. He was born at Mannheim, Germany, and studied under his father, a fluteplayer, and Stamitz, who was the head of the Mannheim Orchestra. He was sent by the Elector to Italy, where he studied for a time under Jommelli, in composition. About 1765, he was the leader of the Mannheim Orchestra and was conductor of the same ten years later. He was conductor at Munich in 1778. He died at Frankfort. Cannabich was a good composer and was one of the best conductors of his day. He was highly praised by Mozart for the perfect ensemble in his orchestral performances at Mannheim. He was also a fine teacher, and many of his pupils afterwards became distinguished musicians. He composed six quartets for strings; three symphonies for orchestra; six trios for strings; six duets for flute and violin; concertos; a symphony for flutes; an opera, Azacaja, produced in 1778, and ballets. A son, Carl, inherited a good deal of his father's musical ability and followed him as composer and conductor, writing chiefly vocal works.