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Johann Evangelist Haydn (December 23, 1743May 10, 1805) was a tenor singer of the classical era; the younger brother of the composers Joseph Haydn and Michael Haydn. He was often called "Hansl", a diminutive form of "Johann".

Johann was the eleventh child of Mathias Haydn and Anna Maria Koller Haydn (Joseph was second, and Michael sixth). His career training may have been mixed. According to Albert Christoph Dies, an early biographer of Joseph Haydn, Johann followed his older brothers in serving as a choirboy in St. Stephen's Cathedralmarker in Vienna. However, Rosemary Hughes indicates that Johann was also trained in the profession of his father Mathias, namely that of wheelwright.

Hughes describes Johann as "delicate and quite incapable of carrying on his father's business," and indeed in 1765, after his father had died and his stepmother had remarried, Johann left home and joined his brother Joseph, who by this time was employed in Eisenstadtmarker as Kapellmeister to the Esterházy family. Joseph took his younger brother into his home and found him a job as an unpaid tenor singer in the church choir in the Esterházy establishment. Johann worked without pay, supported by his brother, for six years, at which point he came to draw a small salary, which Joseph supplemented.

Johann was apparently not a very accomplished singer. The composer Antonio Salieri once remarked of a pupil that she "sang through the nose like Hansl Haydn". It is possible that he was paid as a singer as a favor to Joseph; that Haydn's employer (Prince Nikolaus Esterházy) esteemed Haydn's services enough to make such arrangements is suggested by a similar act later on, in which he kept on the payroll another mediocre singer, Haydn's mistress Luigia Polzelli.

Johann lived to the age of 63, dying in Eisenstadt in 1805, still in the service of the Esterházy family.

Notes



References

  • Dies, Albert Christoph (1810) Biographical Accounts of Joseph Haydn, Vienna. English translation by Vernon Gotwals, in Haydn: Two Contemporary Portraits, Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin Press.*Hughes, Rosemary (1970) Haydn. London: Dent and Sons.
  • Larsen, Jens Peter (1982) The New Grove Haydn. New York and London: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-01881-1



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