Hoffmeister, Franz Anton
Franz Anton Hoffmeister (12 May 1754 – 9 February 1812) was born in Rottenburg am Neckar and went to Vienna to learn the law, leaving in 1778 to work as Kapellmeister for a nobleman in Hungary. He returned to Vienna in 1784, where he set up a music publishing company, forming a strong relationship with Mozart. Hoffmeister turned over all of his business to Artaria in 1795. He began another publishing house in 1800 with the Leipzig organist Ambrosius Kühnel, a company eventually purchased by C.F. From Peters. Hoffmeister quit Leipzig and, in 1805, moved back to Vienna. He has made contributions to multiple music styles and composed operettas, Singspiel, and operas for the stage and other holy and secular vocal music. Hoffmeister wrote 44 symphonies for the ensemble, 13 of which were lost and 15 of which were written. With several string quartets and flute quartets, among many other compositions, including trios, duo sonatas, and violin or flute sonatas, he was incredibly prolific in chamber music, all very much in the agreed style of his period.
Today, Hoffmeister's name is synonymous with his work as a music publisher. Hence, Artaria & Co., Vienna's first music publisher, entered the market five years earlier. Johann Baptist Wanhal, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Mozart, and Haydn are only some famous composers whose works were published by Hoffmeister throughout his tenure. Hoffmeister's close acquaintances included Mozart and Beethoven, each of whom referred to him as my "most dear brother" in a letter. However, the composition seems to take precedence over publication for Hoffmeister following the year 1791. While his operas were mainly written and performed in early 1790, this, along with an apparent lack of economic understanding, contributed to his demise as a publisher. As far as London was concerned, Hoffmeister and the flutist Franz Thurner embarked on a concert tour in 1799. Only Leipzig, where Hoffmeister became friends with organist Ambrosius Kühnel, did they make it. 'Bureau de Musique,' which was subsequently taken over by the well-respected C.F. Peters and is still in operation today, was created by the two individuals who decided to form a music publishing business. The 14-volume first edition of Johann Sebastian Bach's Keyboard Works was one of the Bureau de Musique's many accomplishments (1802). Up until March 1805, Hoffmeister continued to run both the Viennese and his Leipzig publishing houses, but he handed over the Bureau de Musique to Kühnel as a sole proprietor. To give himself time to compose, he sold the Viennese enterprise to the Chemische Druckerey 1806, who was just 20 years old. Among Hoffmeister's many compositions, several concertos and chamber pieces use the flute prominently. For amateur musicians in Vienna, the flute was one of the most popular instruments, and many of these pieces were likely written with this in mind. Aside from his operas and symphonies, Hoffmeister also created several concertos, string chamber music, piano music, and several song collections. Hoffmeister was also a prolific composer of concertos for the viola.