Schulz, Johann Abraham Peter



Composer of popular songs and a number of operas; born at Lüneburg. He studied for a time under the local organist, Schmugel, then went to Berlin, when only fifteen years old, and sought Kirnberger's patronage. Kirnberger was very kind to him and won his ardent affection and gratitude. From 1768 to 1773 he traveled in France, Germany and Italy, and  on his return to Berlin became popular as a teacher. He directed at the French Theatre from 1776 to 1787, and afterward held similar positions at the theatre of the Crown Princess at Berlin and Prince Henry's Theatre at Reinsberg from 1780 to 1787. His choruses to Racine's Athalie were produced at Copenhagen and resulted in his obtaining the position of chapelmaster to the King of Denmark, a position which he held for about eight years. His health broke down and he returned to Germany in 1795. For a time he was director of the Seconda opera-troupe and was in Berlin, Hamburg and Lüneburg. He returned to Reinsberg, and finally died at Schwedt. His songs were favorites in their time and even yet in Germany their brightness and melody makes them favorites with schoolboys. He was the first German to develop the folk-song along artistic lines, and wrote some beautiful settings to some of the fine poetry of his day. He was a musical ancestor of Schubert. Besides composing, he wrote some excellent articles and treatises on musical subjects, among them being his work in Sulzer's Theory of the Fine Arts; a Sketch of Musical Tables; The Influence of Music in the Formation and Character of a People, and work in connection with his edition of Kirnberger's True Principles of Harmony. His compositions are the oratorios, Christi Tod and Johannes und Maria; the operas, Le Barbier de Seville, Hostgildet; Minona; Alnie; Konigen von Golkonda; Peders Bryllups; La Fee Urgele; Clarisse; Offer of Nympherne, besides music to Goethe's Gotz von Berlichingen, Racine's Athalie, a Passion Cantata; Hymne an Gott; Lobgesang zur Teier des Geburstags des Konigs; Te Deum; songs and piano-music.