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Christian Gottlob Neefe

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Christian Gottlob Neefe

Christian Gottlob Neefe (German: [ˈneːfə]; 5 February 1748 – 28 January 1798) was a German opera composer and conductor. He was known as one of the first teachers of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Life and career[edit]

Neefe was born in Chemnitz, Saxony. He received a musical education and started to compose at the age of 12. He studied law at Leipzig University, but subsequently returned to music to become a pupil of the composer Johann Adam Hiller under whose guidance he wrote his first comic operas.

In 1776 Neefe joined the Seyler theatrical company of Abel Seyler (then) in Dresden, and inherited the position of musical director from his mentor, Hiller. He later became court organist in Bonn and was the principal piano teacher of Ludwig van Beethoven. He helped Beethoven produce some of his first works. His best known work was a Singspiel called Adelheit von Veltheim (1780). In Bonn, Neefe became prefect of the local chapter of the Illuminati, the Minervalkirche Stagira [de].[1][better source needed] He died in Dessau.



Title Genre Sub­divisions Libretto Première date Place, theatre
Der Dorfbarbier (with Johann Adam Hiller) komische Operette 1 act Christian Felix Weiße, after Michel-Jean Sedaine's Blaise le savetier 18 April 1771 Leipzig, Rannstädter Thore
Die Apotheke komische Oper 2 acts Johann Jacob Engel 13 December 1771 Berlin, Theater in der Behrenstrasse
Amors Guckkasten Operette 1 act Johann Benjamin Michaelis 10 May 1772 Leipzig
Die Einsprüche komische Oper 1 act Johann Benjamin Michaelis late 1772 Leipzig, Rannstädter Thore
Zemire und Azor komische Oper 4 acts Moritz August von Thümmel, after Jean-François Marmontel 5 March 1776 Leipzig (Koberwein Company)
Heinrich und Lyda Drama 1 act Bernhard Christian d'Arien 26 March 1776 Berlin, (Döbbelin Company)
Sophonisbe musikaliches Drama 1 act August Gottlieb Meissner 12 October 1776 Leipzig
Die Zigeuner Lustspiel mit gesang 5 acts H F Möller, after Cervantes November 1777 Frankfurt
Adelheit von Veltheim Schauspiel mit Gesang 4 acts Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Großmann 23 September 1780 Frankfurt, Junghof
Der neue Gutsherr 3 acts Johann Gottfried Dyck and Johann Friedrich Jünger, after Marivaux's Le paysan parvenu unperformed

Other works[edit]

  • Oden von Klopstock: Serenade for piano and voice. Flensburg 1776
  • Variations on the Priestermarsch aus der Zauberflöte
  • Twelve piano sonatas
  • Rondo in C major


  1. ^ Freimaurer-Akten, Bonn, group 5: "Die Brüder des Bonner Illuminatenordens betreffende Papiere", part 4: "Tabelle Tabelle (...) über die Insinuation des Amtskellers Uxfxbx zu Mainz" (i.e. Adam Umpfenbach), manuscript by Glaukus (i.e. Christian Gottlob Neefe), Stagira, 30 Dimeh 1152 (i.e. 30 October 1782), University of Bonn (in German)

External links[edit]