A brief biogrpaphy of Franz Joseph Haydn, who is remembered in history as the Father of the Symphony and an adventurer into almost every element of music.
Franz Joseph Haydn is best remembered for his symphonic music, honored by music historians who have dubbed him the "Father of the Symphony." That is a well-known fact. But did you know that Haydn worked his way from peasant to Kapellmeister where he lived in the house of a prince? Did you know that although Austria was his home, he traveled to London to write his most famous symphonies? Did you know that Haydn's oratorio "The Creation" grew out of his love of nature, as he was an avid hunter and fisherman? Or did you know that Haydn was mentor to a young music student by the name of Mozart?
These are the lesser-known facts, the parts of Haydn's life that allow us to peek inside a great man's legacy to see what made him tick. Haydn was indeed a self-made man. Born in the small village of Rohrau, Austria on March 31, 1732, Franz Joseph Haydn was the second of twelve children. His father was a wagon maker by trade, but quite musical. On Sundays, the Haydn family often gave private concerts. Haydn's father played the harp while Haydn and his mother sang. A cousin who was a schoolmaster recognized the five-year-old boy's talent and offered to take him into his school so that he could receive musical instruction. The food portions for the children were meager and Haydn himself said that "there was more flogging than food." Still, Haydn persevered, determined even as a young boy to maximize the opportunity and learn all that he could.
At the age of eight, Franz Joseph Haydn became a choirboy for the Viennese Cathedral. Again, the food was far less than what a growing youth needed and the choir children's treatment in general was harsh. Haydn stayed, learning all that he could about church music, until puberty changed...