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Anton Kraft

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Biography

Anton Kraft was a leading cello player of the last part of the Classical era and author of some little-regarded music primarily for that instrument. His father was a brewer. The boy's first teacher was one Werner, cellist of Kreuzherren Church in Prague. He had a solid education and entered the University of Prague, though he did not finish but did accept opportunities in music. His contact with Werner led to networking with Franz Josef Haydn, resulting in a job playing with the orchestra of Prince Nicolaus Esterházy and he studied composition with Haydn. In 1790, when the Esterházy orchestra was disbanded, he joined the orchestra of Prince Antal Grassalkovich de Gyarak in Bratislava, then, in 1796, that of Prince Joseph Lobkowitz in Vienna. By now, he was gaining a reputation as a virtuoso and started going on solo concert tours. From 1789, his tours also included his son, Nikolaus Kraft (1778 - 1853), who was also a leading cello player and indifferent composer. In 1820, he was appointed first cello teacher in the conservatory of the Gesellschafter der Musikfreunde in Vienna, but died within a year. Both Haydn's Cello Concerto in D major and Beethoven's Triple Concerto were written for him to play. He toured so extensively with the Haydn concerto that for many years it was attributed to him. His known authentic works are described as insignificant.
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