Heinrich Proch

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Heinrich Proch; lithography by Joseph Kriehuber 1840

Heinrich Proch (22 July 1809, Vienna – 18 December 1878, Vienna) was an Austrian composer.

Proch studied jurisprudence and completed his training as a violinist in Vienna. From 1834 to 1867, he was a member of the Vienna Hofkapelle. He was also Kapellmeister at the Theater in der Josefstadt between 1837 and 1840, after which he became First Kapellmeister at the Theater am Kärntnertor, the predecessor of the Vienna State Opera. Besides his conducting duties, Proch also worked as a singing teacher.

He composed one opera (Ring und Maske), three operettas, incidental music, orchestral works, and chamber music, as well as over 200 lieder, and won further distinction for his translations of Italian operas (e.g., Verdi's Il trovatore, Donizetti's Don Pasquale). Today, his most famous composition remains the Air and Variations "Deh! torna mio bene", a virtuosic work for coloratura soprano that has been recorded by most sopranos from Luisa Tetrazzini and Amelita Galli-Curci to Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland.

His daughter, Louise Proch, became a well-known singer and actor.

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