Johann Joseph Abert

Johann Joseph Abert

Johann Joseph Abert

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Johann Joseph Abert (20 September 1832, Kochowitz, Bohemia, now Kochovice, Hoštka, Czech Republic – 1 April 1915, Stuttgart) was a German composer. An ethnic German from the Sudetenland, he is also known by his Czech name Jan Josef Abert.

Abert studied double bass at the Prague Conservatory with Josef Hrabě and also received lessons in theory from Johann Friedrich Kittl and August Wilhelm Ambros. In 1853, Peter Josef von Lindpaintner selected him as a double bassist for the Court Orchestra at Stuttgart, the royal capital of Württemberg. He became the Court Kapellmeister in 1867 and remained in this office, previously occupied by Lindpainter, Friedrich Wilhelm Kücken, and Carl Anton Eckerts, until 1888.

Abert composed chamber music and lieder, as well as several successful operas. Of his seven symphonies, the Frühlingssinfonie (Spring Symphony, No. 7) in C, the program symphony Columbus (No. 4), and the Symphony in C minor (No. 2) are generally considered to be the best. The Württembergische Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach currently share responsibility for the preservation of his manuscripts and other personal papers.

Abert's son, Hermann, became a noted music historian.


Little of Abert's oeuvre has so far been recorded. However, there are recordings available of the String Quartet in A (together with a collection of songs), the opera Ekkehard, the 4th Symphony (Columbus), and the concertante works for double bass...
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