Franz Krommer

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Franz Krommer
František Vincenc Kramář

(1759-11-27)27 November 1759
Died8 January 1831(1831-01-08) (aged 71)

Franz Krommer (Czech: František Vincenc Kramář; 27 November 1759 – 8 January 1831) was a Czech composer of classical music and violinist. He was one of the most popular composers in the 19th century Vienna alongside Beethoven whom he knew. Today he is mostly known for his clarinet concertos.[1]


Franz Krommer was born as František Vincenc Kramář in Kamenice. But even his parents were going by a Germanized version of their surname – Krommer. His father was an innkeeper in Kamenice until the family moved to Třebíč in 1773. From 1773 to 1776, Franz studied violin and organ with his uncle, Antonín Mattias Kramář (1742–1804), in Tuřany. He became an organist here along with his uncle in 1777. In 1785 he moved to Vienna and later to Simontornya in Hungary, where he was a violinist and later a Kapellmeister for the orchestra of the Count of Limburg Stirum. In 1790, Krommer was named choirmaster at the Cathedral of Pécs, Hungary. In 1793 he became a Kapellmeister to Count Anton II Grassalkovich. He returned to Vienna in 1795, becoming Maestro di Cappella for Duke Ignaz Fuchs in 1798.

In 1818 Krommer succeeded Leopold Koželuch as composer for the Imperial Court of Austria, the post he held until his death. He was named a Kapellmeister in 1818. According to Carl Engel he may have been Kapellmeister as early as 1814.[2] He died on 8 January 1831 in Vienna, at the age of 71.


His output was prolific, with at least three hundred published compositions in at least 110 opus numbers including at least 9 symphonies, seventy string quartets and many others for winds and strings, about fifteen string quintets[3] and much sonorous, idiomatic and at times powerful music for wind ensemble, for which he is best known today.

Further reading[edit]

  • Padrta, Karel. Franz Krommer (1759–1831); Thematischer Katalog seiner musikalischen Werke. Prague: Supraphon, 1997. 425 pp. ISBN 80-7058-388-6 (pbk.)
  • Zouhar, Zdeněk. František Vincenc Kramář: 1759–1959: výběrová bibliografie. Brno: Universitní Knihovna, 1959.
    • Occasionally a system of classification of Krommer's works is seen in use based on Padrta's work. For example, the quintet for flute and strings opus 55 in E minor is PadK VII/3, the concerto opus 86 for flute and orchestra (also in E minor, and often played with clarinet solo) is PadK III/16. These examples are taken from the listings at a Czech radio station's website, which gives both the standard opus numbers (when available) and the newer system (Rozhlas D-Dur).


  1. ^ "F. V. Krommer - Clarinet Concerto in Eb Major (Op. 36)". Classical Collection Inc. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  2. ^ Engel, Carl (October 1918). "Music We Shall Never Hear". The Musical Quarterly. 4 (4): 500–1. doi:10.1093/mq/iv.4.491. ISSN 0027-4631. JSTOR 737875.
  3. ^ "Embellishments 8: Four Viennese String Quintets". Archived from the original on 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-04-19.

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