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Leopold Koželuch

kozeluch-portrait
Fact file
Year of birth1747
Year of death1818
NationalityCzech Republic
PeriodClassical
Biography

Leopold Koželuch was born in Velvary, northwest of Prague in 1747. Cousin Jan Antonín became one of Leopold’s earliest teachers, along with František Xaver Dušek, a noted Czech keyboard player and composer. In 1778, after some success as a composer of ballet music and having relinquished law studies, Koželuch moved to Vienna, Europe’s thriving musical centre and, as Mozart was to remark “the land of the Clavier”. Koželuch soon established a fine reputation as a fortepianist, composer and teacher. By 1781 he was regarded so highly that the Archbishop of Salzburg offered him Mozart’s former post as court organist. He declined, later stating to a friend “the Archbishop’s conduct toward Mozart deterred me more than anything; for if he could let such a man as that leave him, what treatment should I have been likely to meet with?” In 1784 Koželuch founded his own publishing firm (Musikalisches Magazin) in the same year as Hoffmeister and slightly behind Artaria (1778) and Torricella (1781). In 1792 he succeeded Mozart as Kammer Kapellmeister and Hofmusik Compositor to Emperor Franz II and remained in that post until his death in 1818. After 1802 Koželuch became associated with George Thomson, a man with an insatiable appetite for Scottish, Irish and Welsh folk-song arrangements (other contributors included Pleyel, Haydn, Beethoven and Hummel). This lucrative work and his court duties kept him busy for the remainder of his working life.

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PardubiceCzech Masters in Vienna: Leopold Koželuh

Czech Masters in Vienna: Leopold Koželuh
Mozart, Kozeluch
Komorní filharmonie Pardubice; Pavel Horák; Simona Eisinger; Jaromír Meduna; Boni Pueri; Marek Štilec

VelvaryCzech Masters in Vienna: Leopold Koželuch

Mozart, Kozeluch
Komorní filharmonie Pardubice; Pavel Horák; Michaela Rozsa Růžičková; Boni Pueri; Marek Štilec

JihlavaCzech Masters in Vienna: Leopold Koželuh

Kozeluch: La Ritrovata – Suite from the ballet
Jiří Sycha; Filip Dvořák; Unknown
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Classical heroines in distress: reviewer in heaven

Simona Houda Šaturová © Thomas Houda
Prague’s classical music community is walking a little taller and prouder this week. Collegium 1704 stepped up on Saturday night with an 18th century opera program that offered an inspirational reminder of how period music can and should be played.
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