Hauptmann, Moritz

1792-1868

Famous theorist and German composer; born at Dresden. His father was the state architect and wished his son to follow his profession, but recognizing the boy's predilection for music he allowed him to include it in his studies. He studied under Scholz for violin, Grosse for harmony and piano, and Morlacchi for composition. When at seventeen his father consented to allow him to devote himself to music he studied under Spohr to perfect himself in the violin and composition. These two formed a lifelong friendship. In Dresden, 1812, he entered the Court band as violinist and made concert tours. Soon afterwards he became a teacher in the home of Prince Repuin, Russian Governor of Dresden, and in 1815 went with him to Russia. When he returned to Germany, 1822, he became violinist in Spohr's band at Cassel. In 1842 Mendelssohn, who had become his friend, obtained for him the post of cantor at the Church of St. Thomas at Leipsic. The next year he became chief master of theory at the Conservatory which Mendelssohn had newly established. Hauptmann is recognized as the chief theorist of his age and his most noted work is Nature of Harmony and Metre, published in 1853. His works are not numerous, but are characterized by careful study, imagination, and a sense of humor. He wrote sonatas for piano and violin, and duos for two violins. While in early life he wrote chiefly instrumental music he later wrote exclusively for the voice. He composed an opera, Mathilde, 1826, which was popular in Cassel.