Eisner, Joseph Xaver


He was a director, a composer and the teacher of Chopin. Was born in Grottkau, Silesia; was the son of a maker of musical instruments, and was educated for the medical profession; but as choir-boy and afterward violinist and singer at the Breslau Theatre, he became active in music. Forster, the director at Breslau, gave him some instruction, and on visiting Vienna he became intimate with the best musicians there. In 1791 he became first violinist in the Brünn Theatre, in 1792 director of the theatre in Lemberg, and in 1799 went to Warsaw in a similar capacity. Here he founded a musical society (according to some authorities, a school for organists), which in 1821 expanded into the Warsaw Conservatory, of which he was the first director and professor of composition until 1830, when political disturbances closed the Conservatory. It was reopened in 1834, with Soliva as director. Eisner was a fluent and prolific, though not a highly inspired composer, and his operas were popular in Poland. His works include all the various forms in church music; cantatas; songs; concerts and chambermusic; and two essays on the adaptability of the Polish language to musical composition.