Born at Rain, Bavaria. His father was an organist and his brothers were also musicians. After some study he went to Vienna, in 1822, where he studied under Stadler and Sechter. Here he became a companion of Schubert. He became vice-chapelmaster and in 1828 chapelmaster at the Karnthnerthor Theatre, all the while composing in his spare time. In 1834 he went to Mannheim to conduct the opera, and two years later was appointed Court chapelmaster in Munich, in 1852 being made music director-general. The Munich University conferred a doctor's degree upon him in 1872. His reputation was gained principally by his opera, Catharina Cornaro, his symphony in D minor and his sacred music. He is a thorough contrapuntist, being held in the same esteem in Southern Germany as Hiller is in the North. His orchestral suites in the style of Bach and Handel are perhaps his best work. His compositions are numerous, oratorios, operas, a requiem, masses, overtures, vocal music and a great deal besides. He died in Munich.