Schneider, Johann Christian Friedrich



Able church and dramatic composer and conductor; born at Alt-Waltersdorf, Saxony. His father gave him his first music lessons, and he began composing when only ten years old. He entered the Zittau Gymnasium in 1798 and studied with Cantor Schonfelder and Unger. He entered Leipsic University in 1805, and while there improved so rapidly in music that in 1807 he was made organist at St. Paul's Church. In 1812 he obtained the position of organist at St. Thomas' Church, where he remained until 1821, when he became conductor to the Duke of Dessau, an office he filled until his death. In Dessau he founded a musical institute in 1829 and organized a Liedertafel, Singakademie and choral society. As a composer Schneider's reputation rests chiefly on his oratorios, which were given at the great Elbe and Rhine Musical Festivals. These were The Last Judgment; The Deluge; Absalom; The Lord Jesus Christ; The Infancy of Christ; Gideon; Paradise Lost; Pharaoh; Gethsemane and Golgotha. He also wrote fourteen masses; a Te Deum, a Gloria and five hymns; twenty-five cantatas; operas; sonatas; symphonies; overtures; concertos; and many songs. He was a member of the Berlin and Stockholm Academies and received the degree of Doctor of Music.