Rust, Friedrich Wilhelm



Violinist and composer; born at Dessau; studied first under his elder brother, who was previously a violinist in Bach's Orchestra at Leipsic. He afterward studied piano, organ and composition under Friedemann Bach, and still later violin under Hockh and Benda. He visited Italy in 1765, and there came under the influence of Tartini and other contemporary musicians. The next year he returned to Dessau, where for the rest of  his life he was the most prominent and influential musician; he was instrumental in the establishment of a theatre there in 1774, and was the next year appointed music-director of the same by Leopold III. He married Henriette Niedhart, his pupil and an excellent singer. His compositions include several sacred cantatas; a psalm; operas; incidental music to plays; nearly fifty sonatas, also variations, concertos and fugues for piano; two collections of songs and odes; a trio for flute, violin and yiole d'amour; prologues, etc. His violin sonatas, three in number, are the works on which his reputation rests. His last work is a sonata for violin on the E string. His son, Wilhelm Karl (1787-1855), was from 1819 to 1827 an organist at Vienna, where he won the favorable regard of Beethoven, who recommended him highly and influenced many pupils of rank and talent to study under him. In the latter year he returned to Dessau, where he spent the rest of his life as a teacher. He composed songs, and music for organ and piano.