Haydn, Johann Michael


Brother of Joseph Haydn. Composer and organist. Began his education in music with the village schoolmaster, and had no thorough instruction in composition. He was first known as a boy soprano, then as violinist and pianist at St. Stephen's, Vienna, where in 1745 he became chorister and in 1757 at Grosswarden. He was appointed concertmaster to Archbishop Sigismund at Salzburg in 1762, and held this position until his death. He was also organist of St. Peter's, Salzburg and in 1800 established a school of composition. Michael Haydn was a man of talent, while Joseph was a genius, so that the former's compositions ranked high as representing the style of his period, marked by their simplicity, austere style and religious pathos, but lack the ideal which makes Joseph Haydn's works that of a world-musician of all time. His works are varied, including operas, symphonies, songs, quartets, marches, serenades, etc. The very best are found among his sacred compositions; twenty masses; many offertories, and one hundred and fourteen graduals.