Rochlitz, Johann Friedrich



German musical critic and writer; born in Leipsic; was a vocal student at the St. Thomas School under Doles, and later began the study of theology, which he was compelled by lack of means to give up. He supported himself thereafter by tutoring and writing, and also composed a little. In 1798 he was commissioned by Breitkopf and Hartel to found the Allgemeine MusikalischeZeitung (Universal Musical Gazette), of which he was editor until 1818, and for seventeen years more a contributor. During this time his position gave him a weighty musical influence, which he used in calling attention to the works of Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart, and was thus through the medium of the Zeitung, the chief instrument in promoting a widespread appreciation of these three great composers. In 1805 he became a member of the committee of directors of the Gewandhaus concerts, and consequently a still more active influence in the musical life of the city. The Grand Duke of Weimar bestowed upon him the title of Hofrath. His most important musicoliterary work, For Friends of Music, originally a contribution to the Zeitung, was later published in four volumes, and contained biographical sketches, analyses of famous compositions, and essays   on musical aesthetics. This work included an account of Rochlitz's visit to Beethoven in Vienna, and an outline of a History of Vocal Music, later followed by a collection in  three volumes of vocal music. Various biographers attribute to him as a composer, hymns, male choruses, a cantata, a Te Deum, a mass, and a setting of the 23d Psalm; he also wrote numerous librettos for oratorios, cantatas, and operas.