Romberg, Andreas Jacob



German violinist and composer; son and pupil of Gerhard Heinrich, musical director at Minister; born at Vechta, near Minister. He played in public at seven years of age and traveled with his cousin, Bernhard, over Holland and France, appearing at Paris in 1784, where he accepted a season's engagement as solo violinist at the Concerts Spirituels. He was a member of the Electoral Orchestra at Bonn from 1790 to 1793, at the same time with Bernhard, and the two began a second joint tour in the latter year, traversing Italy, where they made a fortunate appearance at Rome, also Spain and Portugal. From 1796 Andreas lived at Vienna and Hamburg; in 1800 he joined Bernhard in Paris, where they produced together the opera, Don Mendoce; but, as Andreas met with no especial success, he returned to Hamburg the following year, married and settled there, living quietly until 1815, when he was called to Gotha as Court conductor, succeeding Spohr. A short time prior to this appointment the University of Kiel had conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. He died at Gotha six years later in such extreme poverty, it is said, that a number of benefit concerts were given in neighboring towns for his family. Intimately associated with his cousin, Bernhard, throughout his youth, their lives after the diverging point present a sad contrast. His compositions include six operas and operettas, Das graue Ungeheuer; Die Macht der Musik; Der Rabe; Don Mendoce; Die Grossmuth des Scipio; and Die Ruinen von Paluzzi. Works for chorus and orchestra were Die Glocke, The Harmony of the Spheres, The Transient and the Eternal, The Power of Song; other works for solo and orchestra, Die Kindersmorderin, Monolog der Tungfrau von Orleans, Der Graf von Habsburg, Sehnsucht. His sacred music includes a mass with orchestra, a Te Deum, a prize number for four voices and orchestra, performed in Hamburg, etc.; also part-songs, cantatas, etc. His instrumental compositions outnumber those previously named; of his ten symphonies, the best known is that for toy instruments  which has been performed at times in lieu of Haydn's; there are also two quintets and thirty-three quartets for strings; twenty-three concertos, three sonatas, and eleven rondos and caprices for violin; a quintet for clarinet and strings, and eight quintets for flute and strings; a double quartet in two movements; a quartet for piano and strings; concertante for violin and cello with orchestra.