Biography (A Haydn Diary)

Portrait by Johann Basilius Grundmann 1762 (Falsely attributed to Haydn?)

Portrait by Ludwig Guttenbrunn 1770

Portrait by Christian Ludwig Seehas 1785

Portrait by John Hoppner 1791

The "Diary" has the following rules:
1) Events which cannot be assigned to a specific year are placed at the beginning of the most plausible year.
2) Events which cannot be assigned to a specific month in a year are placed at the beginning of this year.
3) Events which cannot be assigned to a specific day in a month are placed at the beginning of this month.
4) Annotations of the author are in square brackets.
You can easily search this site for any item (names, dates, places) using the search function of your browser. The date format is ISO 8601.





Monday, 1728-05-10

Gregor Joseph Werner (bapt. 1693-01-29 Ybbs an der Donau; d. 1766-03-03 Eisenstadt) is installed as Capel-Meister of the court orchestra by Princess Maria Octavia Esterházy (b. 1688-07-18 Sonnberg, wid. 1721-06-06; d. 1762-04-22 Vienna).


Wednesday, 1728-11-24

Marriage of Haydn's parents Mathias Haydn (bapt. 1699-01-31 Hainburg; d. 1763-09-12 Rohrau) to Maria Koller (bapt. 1707-11-10 Rohrau; d. 1754-02-25 Rohrau), marriage entry.



Tuesday, 1730-09-19

Baptism of Haydn's older sister (Anna Maria) Franziska (md 1750-02-08 to Johann Vieltzwiser (Filzwieser), wid 1771-02-08; d. 1781-07-29 Fertöszentmiklós, Hungary), baptismal register.

Monday, 1730-09-25

Baptism of Haydn's later wife Maria Anna Theresia Keller in Vienna (d. 1800-03-20 Baden near Vienna). Her parents are wig maker Johann Peter Keller (b. c. 1691 [the place of birth is still unknown. I cannot follow the argumentation for Hamburg as a birthplace by Michael Lorenz because the handwritten entries in the church records are very unreliable, and my cross checks did not prove the point.]; d. 1771-08-09 Vienna) and Maria Elisabeth Sailler (dates to be researched).
Through comprehensive research especially by Michael Lorenz it is proven and also published in the Haydn House in Eisenstadt that the long-term tradition of Keller's daughter Maria Anna Aloysia Apollonia (bapt. 1729-02-09) as Haydn's wife is wrong. She already died at the early age of 1 1/4 years on 1730-05-26 in Vienna. Thus it is obvious that Haydn's wife is the said Maria Anna Theresia Keller.


Johann Gottfried Walther (b. 1684-09-18 Erfurt; d. 1748-03-23 Weimar) is the editor of the first German musical encyclopaedia: "Musicalisches Lexicon or Musicalische Bibliotec, Leipzig 1732 bei Wolffgang Deer".


Monday, 1732-03-31
Rohrau Geburtshaus
Rohrau Birthplace
==> View c. 1830 by Friedrich Kröpsch

Franz Joseph Haydn is born on March 31, 1732 in the small hamlet of Rohrau (today Lower Austria). The church record on his baptism shows April 1, 1732. At Haydn's time, because of high child mortality rate, parents used to baptize their children on the first or second day of their lives. So it is widely accepted that March 31, 1732 is the actual day of birth. All his life, Haydn emphasizes that he never wants to live as an April Fool's joke, and consequently uses March 31 as his birthday. He uses his first given name Franz only as an exception.
Haydn is the second of twelve children, six of them have only short lives. The surviving siblings (Franziska, Johann Michael, Anna Maria, Anna Katharina, Johann Evangelist) can be found in this biography.
Haydn's father Mathias Haydn is a cartwright and, as his later election as a village magistrate or "Marktrichter" shows, a well-respected citizen of the village of Rohrau. Before being married to Mathias, Haydn's mother Anna née Koller has been working as a cook for the territorial lord, Count Karl Anton Harrach (b. 1692-08-04; d. 1758-03-21), at Rohrau Palace. His grandson Karl Leonhard (b. 1765-07-11; d. 1831-03-08) in 1793/1794 erects a monument for Haydn in his palace gardens, which you can find in front of the Rohrau village town hall today (see 1793).



Wednesday, 1733-05-20

Baptism of Theresia Helena Keller (d. 1819-01-03 Vienna) at St Stephen's in Vienna. She is Haydn's first great love in the 1750s, baptismal register.


Sunday, 1733-09-06

Johann Mathias Franck, Joseph Haydn's half uncle (bapt. 1708-05-15 Ketzelsdorf; d. 1783-05-08 Hainburg), who takes him to Hainburg in 1738, marries Juliana Rosina Seefranz as his second wife (bapt. 1711-02-15 Hainburg; d. 1760-01-00 ib.), marriage entry



Wednesday, 1737-09-11

Birth of brother Johann Michael Haydn in Rohrau (md 1768-08-17 to Maria Magdalena Lipp; d. 1806-08-10 Salzburg), later known as the "Salzburg Haydn".

Saturday, 1737-09-14

Baptism of brother Johann Michael Haydn in Rohrau, baptismal register.


Hainburg Haydnhaus
Hainburg school building

Visit of Haydn's half uncle Johann Mathias Franck at Rohrau who is a teacher in Hainburg since 1732-12-31. He listens to the boy's fine soprano and convinces Haydn's parents to send little "Sepperl" to his school at Hainburg on the Danube for further instruction. Haydn only returns once or twice to his home village.
In his later interviews with Dies ("Joseph hatte das sechste Jahr seines Alters zurückgelegt...") and Griesinger ("Der fünfjährige Joseph...", " sechsten Jahr") Haydn gives only vague information as to the exact date of his relocation, so we cannot give clear proof to this question. It seems to be very likely a date at the end of his sixth year in the spring of 1738, which also corresponds to other events in his later life (Feast of St Florian, relocation to Vienna and the end of his time as a choir boy of St Stephen's in Vienna).
Haydn is educated by Franck "im Lesen und Schreiben, im Catechismus, im Singen, and fast in allen Blas- and Saiten-Instrumenten, sogar im Paukenschlagen". Haydn "Ich verdanke es diesem Manne noch im Grabe, daß er mich zu so vielerley angehalten hat, wenn ich gleich dabey mehr Prügel als zu essen bekam."[I shall owe it to that man even in my grave that he taught me so many things, though in the process I received more thrashings than food] (both Griesinger 8), and "Seit jener Zeit trage ich eine Perücke".[Since that time I am wearing a wig] (Dies 16)

Georg Reutter the younger (bapt. 1708-04-06 Vienna; d. 1772-03-11 ib.) becomes successor to his father Georg Reutter the elder as Domkapellmeister at St Stephen's in Vienna.


Friday, 1738-04-11

Birth of Prince Anton I Esterházy in Vienna (d. 1794-01-22 ib.)


Sunday, 1738-05-04

Feast of St Florian in Hainburg, where Haydn plays the timpani in public for the first time. People are astonished, and Franck is very satisfied with the performance of his young student.


Sunday, 1738-08-10

Birth of Anna Bon di Venezia in Bologna (d. after 1768), later a singer in the Esterházy opera company



Friday, 1739-03-06

Baptism of Haydn's sister Anna Maria in Rohrau (md 1757-02-06 to Philipp Fröhlich, wid 1777-01-29; d. 1802-08-27 Rohrau), baptismal register.


June - August

After a singing exercise and the consent of Haydn's parents Hofkapellmeister Georg von Reutter the younger takes Joseph Haydn with him from Hainburg to Vienna in the "Kapellhaus" [Hoefnagel map of 1609. The Kapellhaus was demolished in 1803, | further details here | ] to have a good soprano or treble in the choir school of St Stephen's. We learn from an anecdote that Haydn uses cherry stones to practice a trill (Griesinger 9, Dies 17/18). Because of the necessity of ripe cherries to have enough stones, this event must have taken place in the months of June to August 1740. It is a hard life for young Haydn ("perpetual fasting", Dies 25), but he studies singing, piano, and violin apart from Latin, Religion, Arithmetic, Reading, and Writing. In his old age, Haydn will be very grateful for the opportunities Reutter gave him.
So Haydn is fundamentally taught in a range of musical fields like singing with Adam Gegenbauer and Ignaz Finsterbusch, and in composition with Reutter: "Reutter ermunterte ihn aber, die Motetten and Salve, welche er in der Kirche absingen mußte, auf beliebige Art zu variiren, and diese Uebung brachte ihn früh auf eigene Ideen, welche Reutter verbesserte."[Reutter encouraged him to make whatever variations he liked on the motets and Salves that he had to sing in church, and this discipline led him to ideas of his own which Reutter corrected] (Griesinger 10)


Thursday, 1740-10-20

Death of Emperor Charles VI (b. 1685-10-01 Vienna). His daughter Maria Theresia (b. 1717-05-13 Vienna, md 1736-02-12 to Franz Stephan of Lothringen, wid 1765-08-18; d. 1780-11-29 Vienna) ascends to the throne as regent of the Habsburg hereditary lands and queen of Hungary and Bohemia.



Friday, 1741-01-06

Baptism of Haydn's sister Anna Katharina (md 1763-11-20 to Christoph Neher; d. c. 1801). Her twin brother Johann Kaspar Haydn dies after only a few months on 1741-08-03.


Maria Theresia
Maria Theresia, Portrait by Martin van Meytens
© Getty Images
Friday, 1741-02-24

Mathias Haydn is appointed village magistrate "Marktrichter" of Rohrau. A village magistrate is, especially in the Austrian states, the first authority in civil disputes, commercial matters, and morals. He also executes the tasks of a village policeman. A village magistrate being generally elected by the citizens for a period of two years, Mathias Haydn stays in office until his death in 1763, a full 22 years. That says something about his acceptance and authority in the village of Rohrau.


Monday, 1741-03-13

Birth of Joseph of Habsburg-Lothringen, later Emperor Joseph II in Vienna (d. 1790-02-20 ib.)


Friday, 1741-07-28

Death and funeral service of Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678-03-04 Venice) at St Stephen's in Vienna, interment at "Spitaller Gottsacker". On this date, Haydn is a choir boy at the cathedral, but neither he nor the boys sang at the funeral service. The notes in the "Bahrleihbuch" (records of funeral service fees) of St Stephen's show clearly, that there was no music at the service and no choir boys sang. In some musicological comments you will find unproven assertions that the so called "Kuttenbuben" have been choir boys. This is bad research, "Kuttenbuben" were adult men standing alongside the coffin to pay their last respect to the deceased. (Lorenz 2014)


The composer and musicologist Ernst Ludwig Gerber (b. 1746-09-29 Sondershausen; d. 1819-06-30 ib.) in his "Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (Leipzig 1812)" reports on a visit to Haydn of the journalist and writer Carl Bertuch (1777-1815) at the end of 1805. Delightedly Haydn tells Bertuch that he has rediscovered a mass from 1742 and is now working on the instrumentation, "die Instrumente dazu zu setzen" (Gerber col. 593).
According to the current state of research it should be the "Missa brevis" in F major Hob. XXII:1. However, most musicologists think that this mass is more likely from 1749.


Friday, 1742-04-13

Premiere of George Frederick Händel's (b. 1685-03-05 Halle (Saale); d. 1759-04-14 London) oratorio "Messiah" HWV 56 (germ. "Der Messias") in Dublin



Monday, 1743-12-23

Baptism of Haydn's brother Johann Evangelist in Rohrau (d. 1805-05-10 Eisenstadt), baptismal register, who later (1764/65) becomes a member of the Esterházy church music. Despite his lifetime employment with Prince Esterházy Joseph Haydn assists his brother financially on a regular basis or with free accommodation in Eisenstadt.



Monday, 1744-05-04

Birth of Marianna von Martines in Vienna (d. 1812-12-13 ib.), later one of Haydn's more prominent students who became a renowned composer.


In the course of the year 1745 (presumably some time around his 8th birthday in September, because the usual age to become a chorister at St Stephen's was 8) Haydn's younger brother Johann Michael is introduced as a cathedral choir boy like his brother Joseph.


Saturday, 1745-02-20

Baptism of Johann Peter Salomon (Later Haydn's concert promoter in London) in Bonn (d. 1815-11-25 London). The Beethoven and Salomon families are neighbours in 515, Bonngasse. Salomon got acquainted with Beethoven during his regular visits in Bonn from London. Shortly before Salomon's death Beethoven asks him for assistance concerning the publication of his works in Great Britain.


Franz Stephan von Habsburg-Lothringen
Franz I Stephan of Habsburg-Lothringen
by Pompeo Batoni
Sunday, 1745-06-06

Pentecost: Together with other choristers Haydn plays on the scaffolding of the newly constructed Schönbrunn Palace during a rehearsal. Empress Maria Theresia catches only Haydn and warns Kapellmeister Reutter to give him a proper hiding (in Viennese dialect "einen rezenten Schilling aufmessen").


Sunday, 1745-10-04

Coronation as Emperor of Maria Theresia's husband Franz Stephan of Lothringen (b. 1708-12-08 Nancy; d. 1765-08-18 Innsbruck) in St Bartholomew Church in Frankfurt on Main as Emperor Franz I of the Holy Roman Empire.




Friday, 1747-05-05

Birth of Leopold of Habsburg-Lothringen, later Emperor Leopold II in Vienna (d. 1792-03-01 ib.)



Thursday, 1748-11-15

Feast of St Leopold at Klosterneuburg Monastery along with Empress Maria Theresia and Emperor Franz I having the court orchestra performing the church music under the direction of court music director Reutter. Maria Theresia as a legitimate singer complains to Reutter about Haydn's obvious breaking of the voice. So Haydn's brother Michael assumes responsibility for the soloist parts of the music. Empress Maria Theresia is very pleased and Michael Haydn is rewarded the stately amount of 24 ducats (1 ducat = 4 fl 30 xr ≈ 100 EUR). This sum as well as the currency translation must be taken with the utmost caution, because you have to take into account the real purchasing power and inflation when you compare currencies over the centuries. E.g. a cow cost c. 20 fl, a master craftsman's salary is c. 30 - 40 fl per month. Michael Haydn gave 12 ducats as a present to his father for a lost livestock (we do not know which one exactly) ["ein zu Tode gekommenes Thier" (Dies 27, Pohl 73)].



Thursday, 1749-08-28

Birth of Johann Wolfgang Goethe in Frankfurt on Main (d. 1832-03-22 Weimar)


Wien Stephansdom Auarell von Ernst Graner
Vienna St Stephen's Cathedral
Watercolour by Ernst Graner
Wednesday, 1749-10-22

Last appearance of Haydn as a chorister at St Stephen's at the celebration of the golden jubilee of the holy orders of Archbishop Sigismund Count Kollonitz (b. 1676-05-30, holy orders 1699-10-22, archbishop of Vienna 1722-06-01, Prince-archbishop 1723-02-14, cardinal 1727-11-26; d. 1751-04-12 Vienna)


Haydn's instant dismissal from the choir of St Stephen's because of a breaking voice and a dirty trick against another choir boy cutting his plait off. Reutter is extremely enraged, understandably enough.
Haydn finds shelter in the attic of tenorist Johann Michael Spangler (b. c. 1721 Vienna, md 1748-02-12 to Maria Theresia Kürner; d. 1794-06-04 ib.), his wife and their baby son (b. 1749-02-00). Haydn lives with Spangler until the birth of his daughter Maria Magdalena on 1750-09-04.



The decade from 1750 until 1759 is under special reserve concerning chronological accuracy. Many research is still to be done, because we know about people and events of this time, but Haydn's own biographical outline of 1776 and the interviews with his biographers Georg August Griesinger (b. 1769-01-08 Stuttgart; d. 1845-04-09 Vienna), Albert Christoph Dies (bapt. 1755-02-11 Hanover; d. 1822-12-28 Vienna), and Giuseppe Carpani (b. 1751-12-28 Vill'albese/Milan; d. 1825-01-22 Vienna) from 1799 to 1809 are prone to errors and loss of memory. Accordingly many dates are not verified, and we are forced to use methods of elimination and plausibility.


Sunday, 1750-02-08

Marriage of Haydn's sister Franziska to master baker and innkeeper Johann Vieltzwiser (Filzwieser) in Rohrau, marriage entry.


Haydn goes on a pilgrimage to the famous Marian pilgrimage site of Mariazell (Styria). Despite of being a former chorister of St Stephen's, he is refused a request to perform and sing some of his own compositions (presumably the motets Hob. XXIIIc:4 and 5 [No 5 probably not authentic] containing "Lauda Sion"). The next day, he plays a trick on the priests, mixes with the choir boys, and surprises the dean and the clergymen with his voice. Griesinger reports an offertory of 16 fl for Haydn (Griesinger 12), Dies mentions an invitation to the clergymen's table, which causes Haydn to extend his stay at Mariazell for one more week (Dies 33).
The later masses "Missa Cellensis in honorem Beatissimae Virginis Mariae (B.V.M.)" in C-Major, Hob. XXII:5, the "Cäcilienmesse", and "Missa Cellensis" in C-Major, Hob. XXII:8, the "Mariazeller Messe", have no direct connection with this stay, they have different backgrounds. What we know, however, is that the veneration of the Virgin Mary is deeply rooted in the popular piety of the 18th century.


Tuesday, 1750-07-28

Death of Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685-03-31 Eisenach) in Leipzig


Haydn moves into an attic in the rear house of the "Großes Michaelerhaus" (today Kohlmarkt 11, Vienna, commemorative plaque). Famous people live in the front house
(a) librettist Pietro Metastasio (b. 1698-01-03 Rome; d. 1782-04-12 Vienna),
(b) from Dec 1752 composer and singing teacher Nicola Antonio Porpora (b. 1686-08-17 Naples; d. 1768-03-03 ib.),
(c) the family of Apostolic Nuncio Nicolo de Martines and
(d) widowed Princess Maria Octavia Esterházy (b. 1688-07-18 Sonnberg, wid 1721-06-06; d. 1762-04-22 Vienna). There is no proof of a direct contact of Haydn to Princess Esterházy.
These contacts lead to some attention for Haydn by Metastasio and Porpora. They use his musical talents and abilities for services as a valet or as their musical assistant in singing and piano lessons.
It is very likely that in the summer of 1750 Haydn receives an interest-free credit of 150 fl [an amount equal to a musician's annual salary] from loop maker Johann Wilhelm Buchholz (b. 1692; d. 1753-03-28 Vienna) for further musical training. Showing his everlasting gratitude Haydn in his last will bequeaths this sum to Buchholz' grand-daughter.


Friday, 1750-09-04

Birth of Maria Magdalena Spangler (md 1768 to Franz Carl Friberth (bapt. 1736-06-07 Wullersdorf/Lower Austria; d. 1816-08-06 Vienna); d. 1794-08-29 Vienna), daughter of the tenorist who gave Haydn his first shelter in Vienna. From 1768, Maria Magdalena Spangler-Friberth is a soprano singer with the orchestra of Prince Esterházy.


Marianna de Martines has singing and piano lessons with Haydn. The Martines family grants a full free board to Haydn as a non-cash benefit for three years. Metastasio gives him a monthly pay of 2 fl, later 5 fl.


Thursday, 1751-05-13

Baptism (birth?) of Rebecca Scott in London (md Schroeter; d. 1826-04-05 ib., interment 1826-04-07 ib.), a very close confidant of Haydn during his two visits to London.


At the end of 1751 or the beginning of 1752 Haydn writes the music for the musical comedy "Der krumme Teufel". He is incited to this music by the Viennese actor and writer of comedies ("Hanswurstiaden") Joseph Felix (von) Kurz, alias Bernardon (b. 1717-02-22 Vienna; d. 1784-02-03 ib.). After two very successful performances the imperial authorities ban further appearances because of alleged insulting offensiveness ['beleidigende Anzüglichkeiten' (Dies 41)] against the rather shady impresario Giuseppe Affligio. A further performance can be found on 1753-05-29.
A short revival of the comedy can be dated in 1757/58.


Saturday, 1752-11-04

Premiere of Gluck's opera "La clemenza di Tito" on a text by Metastasio, at Teatro San Carlo, Naples.


In 1753 we find Haydn as a very busy musician, music teacher, also more and more as composer.
Among his first students are the Brothers Hospitallers Abund Mikysch (b. 1733 Taub/Bohemia; d. 1782-04-09 Graz) and Robert Kimmerling (b. 1737-12-08 Vienna; d. 1799-12-05 Oberweiden, Lower Austria.)
Haydn delves into studies of singing, composition and Italian with Antonio Porpora. In the summer months he accompanies his master to (Bad) Mannersdorf, where he gives singing and piano lessons to the mistress of the Venetian ambassador Pietro Correr (b. 1707-06-18 Venice, ambassador to the imperial Austrian court from 1753 to 1757; d. 1768-09-04 Venice). Haydn's salary for this service is 25 fl per month. Porpora helpfully corrects Haydn's first compositions and advises him to study the famous textbook by Johann Joseph Fux (b. c. 1660 Hirtenfeld; d. 1741-02-13 Vienna) "Gradus ad parnassum" (1725). As Haydn puts it later, Porpora offers him the opportunity "die ächten Fundamenta der sezkunst zu erlehrnen" (HBA Nr. 21) [to learn the true fundamentals of composition].
During the famous soirées with Prince Joseph Friedrich of Hildburghausen (b. 1702-10-05 Hildburghausen; d. 1787-02-14 ib.) at Mannersdorf, Haydn, among others, meets Christoph Willibald Gluck (b. 1714-07-02 Erasbach, Oberpfalz; d. 1787-11-15 Vienna), Georg Christoph Wagenseil (b. 1715-01-29 Vienna; d. 1777-03-01 ib.), Carl Ditters of Dittersdorf (b. 1739-11-02 Vienna; d. 1799-10-24 Neuhof, Bohemia) and Giuseppe (rather Joseph Johannes Baptista) Bonno (b. 1711-01-29 Vienna; d. 1788-04-15 ib.).

Wien Haugwitzische Kapelle
Vienna Haugwitz Chapel
Jordangasse 2

Haydn's activities in Vienna are: on Sundays and Holidays at 8 o'clock he is first musician with the Brothers Hospitallers in the Viennese district of Leopoldstadt, for which service he receives 60 fl a year (only from 1755?), at 10 o'clock he directs the music at the chapel of Count Haugwitz, at 11 o'clock he sings at St Stephen's.
In the evenings he often walks with friends in the streets and performs serenades and songs by order of some gentlemen who want to impress their mistresses with these coquetries. This is called "gassatim". In the course of these evenings it is most likely that Haydn has got the ideas for the quintet Hob. II:2.


Revival of the musical comedy "Der krumme Teufel" at Kärntnertor Theatre



Monday, 1754-02-25

Death of Haydn's mother Anna Maria Haydn née Koller in Rohrau (bapt. 1707-11-10 Rohrau), death record.


Wednesday, 1754-11-06

Birth of Maria Anna Sabina (called Marianne) von Kayser in Vienna (md 1773-06-29 to Peter Leopold von Genzinger, personal physician to Prince Nicolaus I Esterházy; d. 1793-01-26 ib.). In Haydn literature we sometimes find 1750 as her year of birth which contradicts the entry in the necrology of the Schotten parish in Vienna Tom. 15 fol. 5 indicating that she died at 38 years of age. Moreover there is a source, the Liber Societatis Viduorum (Widows' Society of the faculty of medicine in Vienna), reporting in Tom. I fol. 90: "Franciscus Petrus Leopoldus Gennzinger [sic!] | natus austriacus Plagensis | die 15ta 9bris 737. | (uxor Maria Anna Nobilis de Kayser Austriaca Viennensis | nata 6ta Novembris 1754)" (Franz Peter Leopold Gennzinger | Austrian born from Schlägl (today Upper Austria) | on 15th November 1737 | his wife Maria Anna Edle von Kayser Austrian born from Vienna | born on 6th November 1754).


Birth of Katharina Auenbrugger in Vienna (d. 1825-06-09 ib.), sister to Marianna Auenbrugger, both of them are later two of Haydn's piano students

Haydn moves to another location in Vienna, called 15, Seilerstätte [also: Seilerstatt] because he earns more money due to more students and his increasing performances at various places in Vienna.
In the following years Haydn is invited to his palace at Weinzierl, Lower Austria, by Carl Joseph Weber Bt, Edler von Fürnberg (b. c. 1720; d. 1767-03-21 Weinzierl). Haydn is also encouraged and promoted by Baron Fürnberg to compose quartets for his musical soirées. Those early compositions are extremely well received by the Baron and his guests.


Tuesday, 1755-04-08

Haydn's love of his youth, Theresia Keller, takes the veil as a novice (monastic name Josepha) of the convent of the Poor Clares at St Nicolaus, Vienna I, 15 Singerstraße


Saturday, 1755-07-19

Second marriage of Haydn's father Mathias to Maria Anna Seeder (bapt. 1736-03-23), marriage entry. The couple has five children, unfortunately all of them die in early infancy.



Tuesday, 1756-01-27

Birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg (d. 1791-12-05 Vienna)


Wednesday, 1756-05-12

Theresia Keller takes the veil in the convent of the Poor Clares. Landon CW 1, p. 217 f. shows rather plausibly that Haydn himself is present at the profession and also plays the music including the following three works: Double concerto for piano and violin Hob. XVIII:6, concerto for the organ Hob. XVIII:1 and Salve Regina Hob. XXIIIb:1. Landon bases his assumptions on Haydn's memories in old age as well as on his own stylistic analyses, we don't have any written reliable sources on this issue.


Sunday, 1756-08-29

Prussia starts the Seven Years War on the continent by invading Saxony with an army of 62000. The Austrian army under field marshal Browne fails to relieve the Saxon army which leads to the battle of Lobosice in Bohemia on 1756-10-01 won by the Prussians.


Saturday, 1756-11-13

Leopold Mozart (b. 1719-11-14 Augsburg; d. 1787-05-28 Salzburg) is appointed professor for the violin at the Kapellhaus in Salzburg on the eve of his 37th birthday. Through this post he is honoured for his ground-breaking first edition of "Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule" [A Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing] dedicated to the Salzburg Prince-archbishop Sigismund III Christoph von Schrattenbach (b. 1698-02-28 Graz; d. 1771-12-16 Salzburg).



Sunday, 1757-02-06

Marriage of Haydn's sister Anna Maria to master smith Philipp Fröhlich (b. 1729 Rohrau; d. 1777-01-29 ib.) in Rohrau, marriage entry.


Saturday, 1757-06-18

Birth von Ignaz Joseph Pleyel in Ruppersthal, Lower Austria. (d. 1831-11-14 near Paris), a later student and colleague of Haydn. Internationale Ignaz Joseph Pleyel Gesellschaft


Dolní Lukavice Schloss
Dolní Lukavice Palace of Count Morzin
The Castle at Night

In Vienna Baron Fürnberg introduces Haydn to Count Morzin. The older monograph by H.C. Robbins Landon (CW 1, 236) suggests that the reigning Count Ferdinand Maximilian Franz (b. 1693-12-16 or 21 Lukavice; d. 1763-10-22 or 23 ib.) is Haydn's first employer, but also gives some likelihood to his son Karl Joseph Franz (b. 1717-01-23; d. 1783-09-02), which is also true for the newer biography by James Webster (New Grove 2002). So Haydn becomes Kapellmeister of Count Morzin. To give an exact date for the beginning of this employment is not possible (yet). Haydn's salary is 200 fl a year, free board and lodge and the right to join the Count at the officers' table [Offiziantentafel (Offiziant=official of low rank, whereas Offizier=official of high rank).
Sources and stylistic analyses diverge concerning the symphonies composed for Count Morzin in Dolní Lukavice, some assume that Haydn already works for Morzin in 1757, others think of as late as 1759 (Griesinger 20, Dies 42) which does not really correspond to Haydn's own records.


Second version of the musical comedy "Der neue krumme Teufel". We have knowledge of the libretto, the music is lost which is also true for the first version of 1751/52.


Saturday, 1759-04-14

Death of George Frederick Handel in London


Thursday, 1759-07-19

Baptism (birth probably one or two days before) of Marianna Auenbrugger in Vienna (d. 1782-08-25 ib.), who later is a piano student of Haydn along with her sister Katharina. Haydn composes the piano sonatas Hob. XVI:35-39 and Hob. XVI:20 for the Auenbrugger sisters, the first edition of which is dedicated to the sisters by the Viennese music publisher Artaria.


Saturday, 1759-11-10

Birth of Friedrich Schiller in Marbach on the river Neckar, Wuerttemberg/Germany (d. 1805-05-09 Weimar)

Saturday, 1759-11-24

Premiere of Kurz' and Haydn's "Der neue krumme Teufel" at the Kärntnertor Theatre



Luigia Moreschi is born in Naples (md 1777 to violinist Antonio Polzelli, about 25 years her senior; wid 1791-07-14; d. 1830-10-05 in Kaschau (Kosice), Slovakia. Sources speaking of 1750 as her year of birth are obsolete as the Kaschau death register gives 70 as her age at the time of death. The register gives her name as "Aloysia Poredni", but from the note "ex Italia" in the same line and the circumstances of the entry we can be sure that it is Luigia Polzelli [I expressly thank Dr. Josef Pratl for his research on this item]. She later becomes a soprano in the Esterházy ensemble. We will hear from her for various reasons.


Thursday, 1760-04-10

At the age of 73 Porpora is appointed music teacher at the Conservatorio di Santa Maria di Loreto in Naples


Friday, 1760-05-30

Premiere of the second version of "Il trionfo di Camilla" by Porpora with a libretto by Silvio Stampiglia (b. 1664-03-14 Civita Lavinia; d. 1725-01-27 Naples) at Teatro San Carlo in Naples


Maria Anna Theresia Haydn
Maria Anna Theresia Haydn née Keller (c. 1770)
© Eisenstadt Haydnhaus
Sunday, 1760-11-09

Formal contract of marriage between Haydn and Maria Anna Theresia Keller in Vienna.

Wednesday, 1760-11-26

Marriage of Joseph Haydn to Maria Anna Theresia Keller at St Stephen's in Vienna, marriage entry.

The sources about the relation of the couple Joseph and Maria Anna Haydn are rare and mostly one-sided from Joseph Haydn's point of view and those of his circle of friends and acquaintances. That is why I will not repeat judgements from wide-spread "biographies".
More and more Count Morzin gets into financial hardship. He disbands his orchestra as well as his Kapellmeister Haydn which has nothing to do with the prohibition of marriage to the orchestra's musicians. At the same time he recommends Haydn who has already got a good reputation as a musician and composer to Prince Paul II Anton Esterházy (b. 1711-04-22 Vienna; d. 1762-03-18 ib.).



Wednesday, 1761-04-01

Prince Paul II Anton Esterházy agrees on employment contracts with a number of new musicians to his orchestra. This shows some evidence of Haydn's influence on the Prince's orchestra some weeks before his own employment contract. Haydn highly acknowledges the merits of Ober-Capel-Meister Gregor Joseph Werner who on the other hand cannot cope with the creativity and energy of his young Vice-Capel-Meister. In 1804 Haydn will be the editor (published by Artaria et Comp.) of "VI Fugen in Quartetten auf zwey Violin, Viola, and Violinzell von G: J: Werner Weÿland Kapelmeister S. D. des Fürsten N. Esterházy. Aus besonderer Achtung gegen diesen berühmten Meister nun herausgegeben von dessen Nachfolger J. Haydn" [6 fugues in quartets for two violins, viola, and violoncello by G J Werner formerly Kapellmeister to HSH Prince N. Esterházy. Published with great respect for this renowned master by his successor J. Haydn].


Friday, 1761-05-01

Haydn's employment contract as Vice-Capel-Meister to Prince Paul II Anton Esterházy. His yearly salary is 400 fl along with free board at the "Officier-Tisch" [officer's table] and lodge.
(Together with his wife Maria Anna) Haydn lives in the Musikerheim in Eisenstadt in the building of the Old [Princely] Apothecary near the palace at the beginning of the present Haydngasse, from autumn 1762 on until the purchase of his new home in Klostergasse 82 on 1766-05-01 with his wife in the centre of Eisenstadt in the so called Kussenics House (today Hauptstraße/corner Fanny-Elßler-Gasse).



Thursday, 1762-03-18

Death of Prince Paul II Anton Esterházy de Galantha in Vienna (b. 1711-04-22 Eisenstadt) who is succeeded by his brother Prince Nicolaus I Joseph Esterházy de Galantha (b. 1714-12-18 Vienna; d. 1790-09-28 ib.), because of his love for glamour and splendour also called "Der Prachtliebende" ["The Magnificent"].


Thursday, 1762-04-22

Death of Princess Maria Octavia Esterházy in Vienna (b. 1689-07-18 Sonnberg), mother to Paul II Anton and Nicolaus I


Monday, 1762-05-17

Accession to the throne of Prince Nicolaus I Esterházy with a festive entry in Eisenstadt to Schloss Esterházy with its large concert hall, today called Haydnsaal.


Thursday, 1762-07-01

Restructuring of the court orchestra, among others appointment of the Bon family (father set designer="Mahler", mother Rosa and daughter Anna soprano singers) to the ensemble of Prince Esterházy in Eisenstadt.

Monday, 1762-07-05

Prince Nicolaus I confirms the musicians' employment contracts of his brother Paul II Anton.


Nikolaus I. Esterhazy
Fürst Nikolaus I. Esterházy

For the first time we find Haydn's name in the catalogues of the famous music publisher Johann Gottlob Immanuel Breitkopf (b. 1719-11-23 Leipzig; d. 1794-01-28 ib.).

January until May

Prince Nicolaus I grants Haydn a quarterly bonus of 50 fl. to his yearly 400 fl. as contracted.


Monday, 1763-01-10

Marriage of Prince Anton I Esterházy, son to Prince Nicolaus I, to Countess Maria Theresia Erdödy of Monyorókerek and Monoszló (b. 1745-11-25 Vienna; d. 1782-05-01 ib.) in Vienna. After dining with the Empress at Schloss Schönbrunn, the wedding party sets off for Eisenstadt where Haydn conducts a Te Deum in the palace chapel.

Tuesday, 1763-01-11

Premiere of the opera "Acide" Hob. XXVIII:1 (first version) in Eisenstadt to celebrate the marriage of Prince Anton I.

June until December and the following years until December 1775

Prince Nicolaus I raises Haydn's salary to 583 fl. on average (Yearly deviations range from 582 fl. 30 xr. to 583 fl. 30 xr.). The personal quarterly bonus of 50 fl. remains untouched. From 1771 on Haydn is granted a payment in kind of wine and wood.
In Haydn literature you often find a yearly salary of 786 fl. This comes from an uncritical 12-fold multiplication of a monthly salary of 48 fl. 50 xr. This does not correspond to the precise accounting of the Princely General-Cassa, which pays due to monthly lengths [except for rare mistakes] 47fl. 20xr. for 28 days, 47fl. 50xr. for 29 days, 48fl. 20xr. for 30 days, and 48fl. 50xr for 31 days. Regrettably you cannot deduce a proportional equation from that.


Monday, 1763-09-12

Death of Haydn's father Mathias after an accident with a falling pile of wood which caused some ribs to break (Griesinger 22), death record.


Sunday, 1763-11-20

Marriage of Haydn's sister Anna Katharina to gunsmith Christoph Neher, marriage entry. Two children of the couple die shortly after their births in 1766 and 1768.



Monday, 1764-01-30

The earliest prints of several works of Haydn "Six Simphonies..." [sic!] are published in Paris at Louis Balthazard de la Chevardière (b. 1730-02-00 Volx; d. 1812-04-08 Verrières-le-Buisson). They are the four quartets Hob. III:1-4, the other two quartets have been composed by Karl Joseph Toeschi (Carlo Giuseppe Toeschi) (bapt. 1731-11-11 Ludwigsburg; d. 1788-04-12 Munich), a famous violinist at the Mannheim court orchestra. His name is honestly mentioned.


Friday, 1764-02-10

Prince Nicolaus I as an elector arrives in Frankfurt am Main to elect Maria Theresia's son Joseph II. as Holy-Roman Emperor. After the election on 1764-03-27 the coronation follows on 1764-04-06. Prince Nicolaus I arranges a magnificent feast of which we know Goethe's quotation of the "Esterházysches Feenreich" [Esterházy fairyland]. After the coronation ceremonies Prince Nicolaus I sets off for a visit to Paris and Versailles.


In Paris Jean-Baptiste Venier (b. Venice; d. probably Paris) publishes "Sinfonie a più stromenti", of which symphony Hob. I:2 by Heyden [sic] is No 14.

July to September and October to Christmas

Long-term stay of the Esterházy court orchestra in Kittsee Palace. Visit of Empress Maria Theresia at the beginning of September.


Thursday, 1764-12-27

Prince Nicolaus I grants Haydn who is seriously ill to buy medicine at his expense.


Haydn's younger brother Johann Evangelist joins the Esterházy church music in Eisenstadt as a tenor. After six years of nearly unpaid service, when Joseph Haydn helps his brother financially on a regular basis, Johann Evangelist is permanently employed in 1771.


Friday, 1765-02-01

Haydn is still seriously ill and receives "Besondere Brust Pillen" [special chest pills] from the Brothers Hospitallers' pharmacy (Officina FFrum [Fratrum] Misericordiae) in Eisenstadt.


Sunday, 1765-08-18

Death of Emperor Franz I, husband to Maria Theresia, in Innsbruck


Saturday, 1765-11-03

Ober-Capel-Meister Gregor Joseph Werner and manors regent Peter Ludwig Rahier induce Prince Nicolaus I to write a reproachful disciplinary warning letter to Haydn because of wilful neglect of his service duties ("Abmahnung"). As a consequence and to show the Prince his good-will Haydn compiles his first catalogue of works ("Entwurf-Katalog"). Moreover he composes 126 trios for the baryton (sort of extended violoncello) in the course of ten years. The baryton is Prince Nicolaus' I favourite instrument which he also plays himself as an amateur.


Thursday, 1765-12-12

Birth of Prince Nicolaus II Ferdinand Esterházy de Galantha in Vienna (d. 1833-11-25 Como), Haydn's fourth lord from 1794 onwards.


Schloss Eszterház
Schloss Eszterház
© Schloss Esterházy Fertöd

Since 1763 Prince Nicolaus I has a new palace built in the south of Lake Neusiedl. At the place of a former stately hunting lodge in Süttör this will become Eszterház Palace, the "Hungarian Versailles" (other spellings Eszterháza, Estoras, today Fertöd in Hungarian). The reconstruction is finished in 1766 and beside the palace it comprises an opera house, a marionette theatre, and numerous service buildings. Since that time Prince Nicolaus I loves to live in Eszterház during the summer months celebrating glamorous feasts.


Monday, 1766-03-03

Death of Gregor Joseph Werner in Eisenstadt, Ober-Capel-Meister and Haydn's superior in the court orchestra. Haydn is appointed Kapellmeister being responsible for all musical concerns at the Prince's court including church music, operas, the acquisition and maintenance of the instruments, and the musicians' discipline.

Wednesday, 1766-03-05

Funeral service and interment of Gregor Joseph Werner in Eisenstadt

Eisenstadt Haydnhaus
Eisenstadt Haydnhaus, to the left Frumwaldhaus


Haydn begins to work on his mass "Missa Cellensis in honorem Beatissimae Virginis Mariae (B.V.M.)" in C-Major, Hob. XXII:5, the so called "Cäcilienmesse", because Haydn composes this mass by order of the 'Cäcilienbruderschaft der Tonkünstler'. Stylistic examination showed that Haydn worked for many years on the completion of this mass. According to latest research some parts were composed as late as 1773. The reasons for this long process of creation have been discussed by musicologists, but remain to be (if ever) fully clarified.


Friday, 1766-05-02

Haydn purchases his first house in Eisenstadt, Nr 82 Klostergasse, from the "bürgerliche Adlerwirtin Euphrosina Schleicherin, Witwe des Jakob Schleicher" [citizen and landlord's widow] at the sum of 1700 fl (today 21 Joseph-Haydn-Gasse, cadastral 219 m2) and further premises including a small "Kuchlgärtl hinter den Spittal" [kitchen garden] (today Ostergassl, cadastral 226 m2). In close proximity to this garden there is a newly erected (May 1, 2018) Haydndenkmal by artist Heidi Tschank.

Haydn has no substantial savings and can only pay this sum in instalments. He asks Prince Nicolaus I for an advance of 400 fl. The purchasing contract contains the following essential conditions, that a) Haydn has to pay 1000 fl. plus 5 percent interest within one quarter, b) has to pay the complete rest of 700 fl. plus 5 percent interest in quarterly instalments, and c) has to concede a mortgage on this sum to Euphrosina Schleicherin until full payment [Pratl 2009].


Saturday, 1766-07-26

Premiere of the opera "La Canterina" Hob. XXVIII:2 in Eisenstadt.



Monday, 1767-02-16

Performance of the opera "La Canterina" Hob. XXVIII:2 at Palais Esterházy in Preßburg


Tuesday, 1767-03-17

Birth of Magdalena von Kurzböck in Vienna (d. 1845-02-04 ib.), a very good pianist and close confidant of Haydn in his later years (e.g. during Haydn's last public appearance on 1808-03-27 when "The Creation" is performed in the main auditorium of the Old University in Vienna).


Friday, 1767-04-17

Following a letter by Haydn of 1768-03-20 to Anton Scheffstoß, a secretary to Prince Esterházy we can plausibly assume that the hymn "Stabat Mater", Hob. XXbis in g minor has had its first performance in the palace church in Eisenstadt on this Good Friday. Until the composition of the two oratories "Creation" and "Seasons" the "Stabat Mater" has been one of the most widely acclaimed compositions for large orchestra and choir by Haydn. In his autobiographical sketch of 1776-07-06 Haydn explicitly mentions Johann Adolf Hasse's praise of the "Stabat Mater".


In the course of the year 1768 Haydn composes the mass "Sunt bona mixta malis" a 4 voci alla cappella in D minor, Hob. XXII:2. This mass is recreated in 'stile antico' by Palestrina. We have only fragments of the complete work (Kyrie and the beginning of Gloria). Haydn writes only one more piece of church music in this very style, "Non nobis, Domine" Offertorio in stile a capella also in D minor, Hob. XXIIIa:1. The question whether this work because of its stylistic similarity and same key has a close relationship to the mass and has been written in the year 1768 as well, remains unanswered. Some musicologists assume the time of origin even until the year 1786.


Friday, 1768-02-12

Birth of Franz Joseph Karl of Habsburg-Lothringen, the later Emperor Franz II, in Florence (d. 1835-03-02 Vienna). From 1804 onwards he only remains Austrian Emperor Franz I.


Wednesday, 1768-04-13

Birth of Maria Josepha Hermenegild of Liechtenstein (md 1783-09-15 Nicolaus II Esterházy de Galantha; wid 1833-11-25; d. 1845-08-08). Later Haydn dedicates his sonatas Hob. XVI:40-42 and his trios Hob. XV:21-23 to the Princess. Following the wish of Prince Nicolaus II Haydn composes the six masses Hob. XXII:9-14 for the feast "The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary" on the Sunday following 8th September (feast "The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary"), written between 1796 and 1802.

Sunday, 1768-04-17

Premiere of the cantata "Applausus" Hob. XXIVa:6 in the Cistercian Abbey at Zwettl (Lower Austria).


Tuesday, 1768-08-02 and Wednesday, 1768-08-03

Town fire in Eisenstadt, in which Haydn's house is destroyed for the first time. The official amount of loss is, according to Haydn's own detailed inventory and a rough [but too high] estimate by the town of Eisenstadt, 1148 fl 27 xr [Kreuzer]. Prince Nicolaus I shares the costs and gives Haydn 378 fl 67 11/12 xr for the reconstruction of the house. Haydn has to refund 50 fl to the Prince because of a newly constructed annex. The town of Eisenstadt pays Haydn and other citizens the sum of c. 50 fl from charities.

Wednesday, 1768-08-17

Marriage of Haydn's brother Johann Michael to Maria Magdalena Lipp (bapt. 1747-02-10 Laufen near Salzburg; d. 1827-06-10 Salzburg), marriage entry.


Tuesday, 1768-09-20

Anna Bon di Venezia leaves the Esterházy opera ensemble

Wednesday, 1768-09-28

Premiere of the opera "Lo Speziale" Hob. XXVIII:3 in Eszterház


Johann Florian Elßler
Johann Florian Elßler

As is often the case with Haydn, the time frame of the following work can only be approximately established. I refer to the "Missa in honorem Beatissimae Virginis Mariae (B.V.M.)" in E-flat major, Hob. XXII:4, also called "Große Orgelsolomesse [Great Organ Mass]". Musical research puts the terminus post quem of 1766, the terminus ante quem of 1774, the highest plausibility are the years 1768-1769. Similar to the symphonies of the same time the orchestra includes wind instruments such as two English horns and two horns.


Wednesday, 1769-05-03

Baptism (birth unknown) of Johann Florian Elßler in Eisenstadt (md 1800-02-10 to Therese Prinster [bapt. 1780-10-04 Vienna; d. 1832-08-28 ib.]; d. 1843-01-12 Vienna), later Haydn's copyist and personal faithful servant from 1787 until Haydn's death in 1809. Johann Elßler is also the father of the world-famous dancer Fanny Elßler (bapt. 1810-06-23 Vienna-Gumpendorf; d. 1884-11-27 Vienna) and her equally talented sister Therese Elßler (bapt. 1808-04-06 Vienna-Gumpendorf; d. 1878-11-19 Meran).



Birth of Therese Jansen in Aachen[?] (md 1795-05-16 to Gaetano Bartolozzi; d. 1843-06-29 Calais), a talented musician to whom Haydn dedicates his trios Hob. XV:27-29 and his sonatas Hob. XVI: 50 and 52.

Haydn falls ill with raging fever ["hitziges Fieber"] which makes him unfit for work for a certain period of time. His brother Michael plans to visit him and is granted leave from the Salzburg Prince-Archbishop. Because of Haydn's relatively speedy recovery he does not start the journey.


Wednesday, 1770-03-21

Guest appearance of the complete Esterházy opera company with the opera "Lo Speziale" Hob. XXVIII:3 in the palais of Gottfried Freiherr von Sommerau [also Sumerau] (b. 1742; d. 1787-12-21 Vienna) at 28 Windmühlgasse, Vienna 6 (formerly Mariahilf Hauptstraße 12-14, extending to Windmühle 1) [old numbering], Name of the house "Zum weißen Stern" [White Star], later "Geyling-Haus", further information see here).


Wednesday, 1770-07-25

Great 'Fest' arranged by Prince Nicolaus I. at Castle Kittsee.
Especially on this occasion the Esterházy musicians and singers receive their new summer uniforms, these are Joseph Haydn, Luigi Tomasini, Carl Friberth, Leopold Dichtler, Christian Specht, Melchior Grießler, Joseph Oliva, Franz Pauer, Carl Franz, Johann May, Johann Dietzl, Thaddäus Steinmüller, Joseph Purcksteiner, Zacharias Pohl, Georg Kapfer, Franz Sigl, Carl Schiringer, Johann Hinterberger, Joseph Blaschek, Christoph Süssig, Barbara Dichtler, and Eleonore Jäger.


Sunday, 1770-09-16

First proven performance of the opera "Le pescatrici" Hob. XXVIII:4 in Eszterház to celebrate the marriage of Countess Lamberg to Count Pocci


Sunday, 1770-12-16

Birth of Ludwig van Beethoven in Bonn (d. 1827-03-26 Vienna)


Marianna von Martines
Marianna von Martines (by Anton von Maron 1773)
© Vienna Museum


Friday, 1771-03-29

Good Friday: Performance of "Stabat Mater" Hob. XXbis by the Esterházy church music at Piarist Church, Vienna 8, under Haydn's direction


Friday, 1771-08-09

Death of Haydn's father-in-law Johann Peter Keller in Vienna, the funeral taking place on 1771-08-10, records of the Barleihbuch of St Stephen [register of funeral expenses]
© Michael Lorenz


Ignaz Pleyel becomes a student of Haydn in Eisenstadt under the sponsorship of Count Ladislaus Erdödy (see 1776-07-17). Haydn develops a close relationship to Pleyel and considers him to be very talented.


Monday, 1772-11-16

Count Anton II Grassalkovics [Slovak spelling - Grassalkovich] (b. 1734-08-24 Pest; d. 1794-06-05 Vienna) makes a feast in his palais in Bratislava where Haydn conducts the music.


Sunday, 1772-12-06

Haydn writes a mass for the name day of Prince Nicolaus I, the Missa Sancti Nicolai, Hob. XXII:6 in G major.


Admission of Marianna von Martines into the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna

In addition to his Esterházy duties Haydn takes over the post of the local Eisenstadt church organist.


Thursday, 1773-04-15

Repeated litigation between Haydn and his neighbour Magdalena Frumwaldin because of a common exterior wall of their houses


Tuesday, 1773-06-29

Marriage of Maria Anna Sabina von Kayser [later known to us as Marianne von Genzinger] to Dr Peter Leopold von Genzinger, personal physician to Prince Nicolaus I


Monday, 1773-07-26

Premiere of the opera "L'Infedeltà delusa" Hob. XXVIII:5 in Eszterház


Wednesday, 1773-09-01

Empress Maria Theresia pays a visit to Prince Nicolaus I at Eszterház. She is accompanied by Archduke Maximilian (b. 1756-12-08 Vienna; d. 1801-07-26 Hetzendorf b. Wien; since 1784 Archbishop-Elector in Cologne) and the Archduchesses Maria Anna (b. 1738-10-06 Vienna; d. 1789-11-19 Klagenfurt/Carinthia) and Maria Elisabeth (b. 1743-08-13 Vienna; d. 1808-09-22 Linz/Upper Austria). During this day Archduchess Maria Christina (b. 1742-05-13 Vienna; d. 1798-06-24 ib.) along with her husband Archduke Albert of Saxony-Teschen (b. 1738-07-11 Moritzburg b. Dresden; d. 1822-02-10 Vienna) also arrive at Eszterház.
The marionette opera "Philemon and Baucis" Hob. XXIXa:1 is premiered.

Ödenburg Palais Esterhazy
© Francesco vecchio
Thursday, 1773-09-02

Second day of the visit of Empress Maria Theresia and her entourage in Eszterház. The opera "L'infedeltà delusa" Hob. XXVIII:5 is performed.
This visit is said to be the reason of the famous statement by Maria Theresia: "Wenn ich eine gute Oper hören will, gehe ich nach Eszterház!" [If I want to hear a good opera, I go to Eszterház!]

Friday, 1773-09-03

Third day of the visit of Empress Maria Theresia and her entourage in Eszterház. After lunch with Prince Nicolaus I at his Oedenburg palace the Empress returns to her Schoenbrunn palace.


Viennese publisher Joseph Lorenz Edler von Kurzböck (b. 1736-11-21 Vienna; d. 1792-12-18 ib.) issues six piano sonatas "Sei Sonate per Cembalo" Hob. XVI:21-26. This is the first print which is authorised by Haydn and consequently dedicated to Prince Nicolaus I.



Wednesday, 1775-02-01

Official opening of the Hanover Square Rooms established by Johann Christian Bach (b. 1735-09-05 Leipzig; d. 1782-01-01 London) and Carl Friedrich Abel (b. 1723-12-22 Köthen/Anhalt; d. 1787-06-20 London). Hanover Square Rooms are one of the most important venues in London for more than 100 years. Many of the Haydn concerts are performed there during the concert seasons of 1791 to 1795.


Vienna Kärtnertortheater
Watercolour by Carl Wenzel Zajicek
© Vienna Dorotheum
Sunday, 1775-04-02

Premiere of the oratorio "Il Ritorno di Tobia" Hob. XXI:1 at Kärntnertor Theatre in Vienna to the benefit of the Tonkünstler-Societät [Society of Musicians and a pension fund for the surviving dependants of Austrian musicians and composers] under Haydn's direction

Tuesday, 1775-04-04

Second performance of the oratorio "Il Ritorno di Tobia" Hob. XXI:1 at Kärntnertor Theatre in Vienna to the benefit of the Tonkünstler-Societät [Society of Musicians] under Haydn's direction


Monday, 1775-07-17

Marriage of Rebecca Scott to Johann Samuel Schroeter (b. 1753-03-02 Guben [doubtful because of missing church register, more probable is a birth c. 1756/57 Warsaw]; d. 1788-11-01 Pimlico/London).


Tuesday, 1775-08-29

Premiere of the opera "L'incontro improvviso" Hob. XXVIII:6 at Eszterház in the presence of archduke Ferdinand (Karl Anton Joseph Johann Stanislaus) of Austria (b. 1754-06-01 Vienna; d. 1806-12-24 ib.) and his wife Maria Beatrice d’Este (b. 1750-04-07 Modena; d. 1829-11-14 Vienna)



Saturday, 1776-07-06

Haydn writes his autobiographic letter to a certain "Mademoiselle Leonore" (later wife of Esterházy economist Lechner) for Ignaz de Luca's (b. 1746-01-29 Vienna; d. 1799-04-24 ib.) magazine "Das gelehrte Österreich" ["Learned Austria"]. This article strangely enough uses only little information from the mentioned letter.
This letter still is a first-rate primary source despite its known minor inaccuracies.

Wednesday, 1776-07-17

Second and much more devastating fire in Eisenstadt affecting Haydn's house heavily. Despite a higher grade of destruction the amount of loss is rated considerably lower than in 1768 with only 450 fl. Prince Nicolaus I again instructs his administration to pay the sum completely.
Haydn's student Ignaz Pleyel who lives with him from 1772 until 1777 [Count Ladislaus Erdödy (b. 1746-05-20 ?; d. 1786-07-13 Vienna) sponsors these studies with 100 Louis d'or per year and gives Haydn a carriage and two horses in appreciation of his work] has already copied a great number of works from that time unbeknown to Haydn. They are stored outside Haydn's premises and thus remain unharmed by the fire. [Anecdote to be examined that Pleyel has the house completely restored and furnished in the original shape at the instigation of Prince Nicolaus I while Haydn was away on official duty. When Haydn returns home he thinks (at first sight) that his house has been spared from the fire.]



Tuesday, 1777-07-08

At the personal request of Empress Maria Theresia the complete Esterházy music, opera, and marionette theatre play at Schönbrunn Palace as a musical entertainment for Prince-Elector Clemens Wenzeslaus, archbishop of Trier (b. 1739-09-28 Wermsdorf; d. 1812-07-27 Marktoberdorf/Allgäu) and other members of the nobility.

Friday, 1777-07-11

Musical entertainment by the Esterházy orchestra at the imperial meal for the above guests at Schönbrunn Palace.


Sunday, 1777-08-03

Premiere of the opera "Il mondo della luna" Hob. XXVIII:7 in Eszterház to celebrate the marriage of Prince Nicolaus' I second son Count Nicolaus Esterházy (b. 1741-05-10 Eisenstadt; d. 1809-12-21 Sopron) to Maria Anna Franziska Countess Ungnad von Weißenwolff (b. 1747-02-02; d. 1822-06-26 Linz)


Another work with a rather vague period of origin is the Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo "Small Organ Mass", Hob. XXII:7 in B major. Haydn composes it between 1773 and not later than 1778, recent reasearch speaks of 'around 1775'. It is dedicated to the Brothers Hospitallers (of St. John of God) in Eisenstadt.


Saturday, 1778-05-30

Death of Voltaire in Paris (b. 1694-11-21 ib.)


Fertöd Musikerhaus
Eszterház/Fertöd Musicians Home
with Haydn commemorative plaque
Tuesday, 1778-10-27

Haydn sells his house in Eisenstadt for 2000 fl to the Esterházy accountant Anton Liechtscheidl. This sum seems rather low, but is presumably due to the structural condition of the house after the fires and reconstructions. [On the other hand, this is not very plausible, because the reconstructions are much better than the original state]. Further investigation into the purchase prices of similar objects is still to be done.

In Eszterház Haydn lives on the first floor of a house near the palace, today town hall and a small Haydn museum with a commemorative plaque at the front, address: Madach sétány 1, Fertöd.


Wednesday, 1778-11-18

Haydn applies for membership in the Viennese Tonkünstler-Societät



Friday, 1779-01-01

Renewed "Dienst Contract" [contract of employment] for Joseph Haydn as Kapellmeister to Prince Nicolaus I Esterházy on significantly improved conditions. The article concerning the exclusive rights of Prince Nicolaus I on Haydn's compositions is not repeated. So Haydn may sell compositions on his own account and enter into negotiations with publishers without the Prince's explicit consent.


Thursday, 1779-02-04

Haydn angrily withdraws his application for membership in the Tonkünstler-Societät after the Societät tries to oblige him to the composition of several works as a return. The relation to the Tonkünstler-Societät will later change fundamentally (see 1797-12-11).


Friday, 1779-03-26

The couple Antonio (b. c. 1735 Rome; d. 1791-07-14 Vienna) and Luigia Polzelli (see 1760) enter into a two-years-contract with Prince Nicolaus I for his orchestra. Antonio Polzelli is a violinist, Luigia sings a modest mezzo-soprano.


Sunday, 1779-04-25

Premiere of the opera "La vera costanza" Hob. XXVIII:8 in Eszterház


Thursday, 1779-11-18

The Eszterház opera-house is totally destroyed by a fire. A countless number of autographs and hand-written copies are consumed by the flames. The opera performances are transferred to the marionette theatre building.


Monday, 1779-12-06

Premiere of the opera "L'Isola disabitata" Hob. XXVIII:9 in Eszterház

Saturday, 1779-12-18

Only one month after the opera-house fire in Eszterház the foundation stone for a new opera-house is laid.




Sunday, 1780-05-14

Pentecost. Haydn receives his first major international award and becomes an honorary member of the Accademia Filarmonica di Modena.


Wednesday, 1780-11-29

Empress Maria Theresia dies of pneumonia in the Vienna Hofburg Palace. She is succeeded by her son Joseph II who is a proponent of the Enlightenment. He initiates a far-going curtailment of the Roman-Catholic Church and its institutions (e.g. dissolution of contemplative orders and confiscation of their properties, interdiction of decorative church music).



Eszterház Opernhaus
Eszterház/Fertöd Opera House
(dilapidated during the 19th century)
Sunday, 1781-02-25

Inauguration ceremony of the new opera house at Eszterház featuring the premiere of the opera "La fedeltà premiata" Hob. XXVIII:10.


Friday, 1781-03-23

Debut of Johann Peter Salomon, Haydn's later London concert promoter, as a violinist in London


Friday, 1781-07-20

Death of Haydn's sister Franziska in Fertöszentmiklós (poss. 1781-07-29?)


Tuesday, 1781-12-25 and Wednesday, 1781-12-26

During the stay of the Russian Grand Duke and Duchess Paul and Maria Feodorowna several concerts are given for the music-loving Grand Duchess. Together with other famous musicians (Luigi Tomasini (b. 1741-06-22 Pesaro; d. 1808-04-25 Eisenstadt), Franz Aspelmayr, Thaddäus Huber, and Joseph Franz Weigl) Haydn plays parts of the brand-new so-called "Russian Quartets" Hob. III:37-42.
Maria Feodorowna also takes piano lessons with Haydn.



Before giving up composing masses for more than 14 years, Haydn writes the Missa Cellensis "Mariazeller Messe", Hob. XXII:8 in C major by order of Anton Liebe von Kreutzner when the latter receives his knighthood on 1782-03-20. In Haydn's own hand we read on the front page "Missa Cellensis, fatta per il Signor Liebe de Kreutzner, composta di me Giuseppe Haydn 1782".


Friday, 1782-04-12

Death of Pietro Metastasio in Vienna


Sunday, 1782-08-25

Death of Marianna Auenbrugger whom we know as a student of Haydn at only 23 years of age on tuberculosis


Friday, 1782-12-06

Premiere of the opera "Orlando paladino" Hob. XXVIII:11 in Eszterház celebrating the name day of Prince Nicolaus I


In the "Musikalischer Almanach für Deutschland auf das Jahr 1783" by Johann Nikolaus Forkel (b. 1749-02-22 Meeder near Coburg, Germany; d. 1818-03-20 Göttingen) we find a two-page article about Haydn which is based on information from de Lucas "Das gelehrte Österreich" [Learned Austria]. Moreover we find information about the "Esterhazische Kapelle".

Antonio Polzelli
Antonio Polzelli with a dedication by his daughters


Monday, 1783-04-28

Birth of Antonio (Alois Anton) Polzelli in Eszterház (d. 1855-02-18 Pest). There is rumour about Haydn's long-term relation to Antonio's mother Luigia, but until now there are no reliable sources for or against Haydn's fatherhood. We only have a) the [probably well-grounded] statement of Luigia Polzelli that Antonio is Haydn's son, and b) the written assertion by Polzelli's daughter Antonia (Antoinette, Antonie) von Polcelli [sic!] equally speaking for her sister Emilie (von) Wölfl (Wölföl, Wölfel) on 1875-12-31 in the Leipziger Musikalisches Wochenblatt that Joseph Haydn is her grandfather.
Antoinette Polcelli repeats her ancestry in a petition and a letter of thanks to Prince Esterházy of 1882-10-10 and 1882-10-28 [Haydn-Year-Book (HYB) VII, p. 132-133].
During her time at Eszterház (Süttör) Luigia Polzelli gives birth to three more children (possibly four, but there is no data evidence at all for a certain Anna). These children all die at an early age, a possible biological fatherhood of Joseph Haydn as with Antonio can neither be proved nor denied.
Haydn supports Luigia Polzelli financially until his death on a rather regular basis and even at some time promises to marry her after the death of his wife, but Luigia marries singer Luigi Franchi after 1800 and moves with him to Bologna, so the relation cools down significantly and Haydn cuts his pension to her in half.


Saturday, 1783-05-10

Funeral of Johann Mathias Franck, half uncle and first teacher of Joseph Haydn in Hainburg, death record.


Monday, 1783-09-15

Marriage of the grandson of Prince Nicolaus I, Nicolaus II, to Princess Maria Josepha Hermenegild von und zu Liechtenstein


Johann Nepomuk Fuchs (b. 1766-06-29 Eisenstadt; d. 1839-10-29 ib.) becomes a member of the Esterházy court music. He is appointed Vice-Capel-Meister, and from 1802 on after Haydn's demission he is leader of the court music together with Concertmeister Johann Nepomuk Hummel (b. 1778-11-14 Preßburg/Bratislava; d. 1837-10-17 Weimar) and first violinist Alois Tomasini (b. 1779-07-10 Eszterház; d. 1858-02-19 Neustrelitz). After Haydn's death he is made Capel-Meister.


Wednesday, 1784-02-04

Haydn receives a letter and a golden medal with a portrait from Prince Heinrich von Preußen (b. 1726-01-18 Berlin; d. 1802-08-03 Rheinsberg) in appreciation of the consignment of six quartets (most plausibly the quartets Hob. III:37-42).

Thursday, 1784-02-26

Premiere of the opera "Armida" Hob. XXVIII:12 in Eszterház


Tuesday, 1784-09-21

Birth of Carl Thomas Mozart in Vienna (d. 1858-10-31 Milan), the older of the two surviving children of W.A. Mozart


Friday, 1784-10-01

Haydn's fame and popularity has already become wide-spread in Europe and also in Great Britain. As an example we here present a nine-page article from "The European Magazine and London Review" of October 1784.


Wednesday, 1784-12-29

Haydn applies for membership in the Freemasons' lodge "Zur wahren Eintracht" [True Concord]

End of 1784 / beginning of 1785

Haydn is entrusted with the composition of six symphonies by the Paris Freemasons' lodge "Société Olympique", the so-called "Paris Symphonies" Hob. I:82-87. In 1788/1789 the "Société" entrusts Haydn with the composition of another three symphonies Hob. I:90-92. These symphonies do not receive the epithet "Paris Symphonies" neither in musicological literature nor in public reception.
Claude-François-Marie Rigoley, Comte d'Ogny (b. 1756-01-09 Dijon; d. 1790-10-03 Paris) is the liaison between the "Société" and Haydn.



Saturday, 1785-01-15

Haydn visits Mozart in Vienna. He listens to the six quartets (K. 387, 421, 428, 458, 464, and 465) dedicated to him by Mozart.


Mozarts Wohnhaus Domgasse 5
Mozart's home in 1785 (Vienna 1, Domgasse 5)
© Vienna Museum
Friday, 1785-02-11

Haydn is admitted into the Freemasons' lodge "Zur wahren Eintracht" [True Concord]. The lodge survives for only one year, during this time Haydn is run as "absent fellow mason", thus it seems obvious that he does not actively take part in the lodge's work.

Saturday, 1785-02-12

(poss. already on the night of 1785-02-11) Haydn visits Mozart again and listens to another performance of the last three quartets which have been dedicated to him (see 1785-01-15). During this private concert Haydn also meets Mozart's father Leopold and says those famous words which Leopold Mozart reports to his daughter Nannerl (rather: Maria Anna, b. 1751-07-30 Salzburg; d. 1829-10-29 ib.) in his letter on 1785-02-15:
"he: Haydn sagte mir: ich sage ihnen vor Gott, als ein ehrlicher Man, ihr Sohn ist der grösste Componist, den ich von Person and dem Nahmen nach kene: er hat Geschmack, und über das die grösste Compositionswissenschaft." [Herr Haydn said to me: I tell you before God and as an honest man, that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name. He has taste and, what is more, the most profound knowledge of composition]


Tuesday, 1785-08-09

Prince Anton I Esterházy de Galantha marries Maria Anna Countess Hohenfeld (b. 1768-04-20 Linz; d. 1848-04-02 Vienna) as his second wife.


Tuesday, 1785-10-25 until Friday, 1785-10-28

On his tour of Europe General [Sebastián] Francisco de Miranda [y Rodríguez de Espinoza] (b. 1750-03-28 Caracas; d. 1816-07-14 Cádiz), the Venezuelan revolutionary and spearhead of Simón Bolívar, stays with Prince Esterházy who is sympathetic to his revolutionary ideas. As a music lover he also meets Haydn whom he admires. Haydn shows him around the Eszterház Palace and Gardens.



Friday, 1786-03-10

Birth of Paul III Anton Esterházy in Vienna (d. 1866-05-21 Regensburg)



Friday, 1787-04-06

Good Friday: Premiere of the passion music "Die Sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze" [from now on "The Seven Last Words"] Hob. XX:1 at Cádiz. Since Haydn has finished his composition already from mid-1786 until early-1787 and sold to Artaria, it is obvious that the orchestral part was distributed beforehand and there were early performances. Pohl II, 215f. reports about that.

Saturday, 1787-04-21

Haydn receives a letter of appreciation, a ring, and 300 ducats from Friedrich Wilhelm II (b. 1744-09-25 Berlin; d. 1797-11-16 Potsdam), nephew to Friedrich II and King of Prussia for the "Uebersendung von sechs neuen Symphonien" [consignment of six new symphonies] known as the six Paris symphonies Hob. I:82-87. In return for this appreciation Haydn dedicates the so-called "Prussian Quartets" Hob. III:44-49 which are finished in September 1787 to the King.


Thursday, 1787-11-15

Death of Christoph Willibald Gluck (b. 1714-07-02 Erasbach, Upper Palatinate, Germany) in Vienna



Another proof of Haydn's growing reputation in Great Britain is the article about Haydn in Charles Burney's "A General History of Music, from the earliest ages to the present period" (p. 599-602).

Mozart Wohnhaus 1789
Residence on Judenplatz 4 [present state]
Mozart's home in 1789


Wednesday, 1789-06-10

For the first time Marianne von Genzinger sends Haydn a piano arrangement of movements from Haydn's symphonies. Haydn is deeply impressed and encourages Frau von Genzinger in a series of letters to continue her work. This is the beginning of an intense exchange of ideas and a close friendship until she dies much too young in 1793.


Tuesday, 1789-07-14

Storming of the Bastille in Paris, the starting signal of the French Revolution


Sunday, 1789-11-08?

The English music publisher John Bland (b. c. 1750; d. c. 1840) visits Haydn in Eszterház to negotiate the publication of several of Haydn's works and to persuade him to come to London. Haydn refuses this offer considering his contractual commitments to Artaria and Prince Esterházy.


Thursday, 1789-12-31

Together with Mozart's friend Puchberg Haydn is invited by Mozart to a rehearsal of the nascent opera "Cosí fan tutte" to his home on Judenplatz 4, 1010 Vienna.



Composer and music essayist Ernst Ludwig Gerber (b. 1746-09-29 Sondershausen; d. 1819-06-30 ib.) publishes his "Historisch-Biographisches Lexicon der Tonkünstler" with an entry on Joseph Haydn.


Saturday, 1790-02-20

Death of Emperor Joseph II in Vienna

Thursday, 1790-02-25

Death of Maria Elisabeth Ungnad Countess Weissenwolff (b. 1718-03-21), wife of Prince Nicolaus I in Eisenstadt


Tuesday, 1790-09-28

Death of Prince Nicolaus I Esterházy in Vienna. He decrees an annual rent of 1000 fl for Haydn.
His son and successor Anton I adds an annual salary of 400 fl. On the other hand he does not continue the court orchestra because of the extremely high debts of the Esterházy court and his disinterest in Arts and Music. All musicians except Kapellmeister Haydn and first violinist Tomasini are disbanded.
Shortly after the death of Prince Nicolaus I Haydn moves to Vienna to his wife Maria Anna and rents a flat owned by his friend Johann Nepomuk Hamberger at 1196, Wasserkunstbastei (old numbering system), the entry being at 21, Seilerstätte.
Haydn refuses an offer by Prince Grassalkovics to become his Kapellmeister.


Wednesday, 1790-12-08

London musician and concert promoter Johann Peter Salomon makes a contract with Haydn about his visit in London and the performances to be delivered by Haydn (12 academies = concerts with the corresponding composition of symphonies, one Italian opera, and 20 more compositions of various genres with a guarantee of 200 pounds sterling per academy, which is c. 2600 fl Conventions-Münze).

Monday, 1790-12-13

Haydn is received in audience by King Ferdinand IV of Naples (b. 1751-01-12 Naples; d. 1825-01-04 ib.). Haydn passes eight notturni for the lyre to the King, still King Ferdinand is very angry having been sure to win Haydn for his orchestra which has now become impossible because of Haydn's London obligations.
Chancellor Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz (b. 1711-02-02 Vienna; d. 1794-06-27 Mariahilf/Vienna) gives Haydn a letter of recommendation to present to Johann Philipp Count Stadion (b. 1763-06-18 Warthausen; d. 1824-05-15 Baden near Vienna), envoy of the Austrian Empire in London containing as main formulation: "Eure Hochgebohren wollen ihm daher bestens an Hand gehen, und alle thunliche wirksame Beförderung angedeyhen laßen." (Your Highborn will therefore assist him at best, and grant him every feasible effective advancement.)

Tuesday, 1790-12-14

Mozart meets Haydn in Vienna to say goodbye. Dies 77 says this meeting is on the following day, Griesinger 35 gives no specific date. At one of these meetings between 1790-12-07 and 1790-12-15 the following sentences are reported according to Dies 75: Mozart: "Papa! Sie haben keine Erziehung für die große Welt gehabt, und reden zu wenige Sprachen." [Papa! You had no education for the wide world, and speak too few languages] Haydn: "O! meine Sprache verstehet man durch die ganze Welt." [My language is understood by the whole world] Then Mozart: "Wir werden uns wohl das letzte Lebewohl in diesem Leben sagen." [It will probably be the last time we say goodbye] (Dies 77)

Wednesday, 1790-12-15

Haydn leaves Vienna together with Salomon (route of the journey by stage coach: Vienna–Munich–Wallerstein–Bonn–Brussels-Calais–Dover–London)

Thursday, 1790-12-16

Overnight stay at the tavern "Zum Goldenen Stück" [The Golden Cannon] in Linz, Upper Austria

Saturday, 1790-12-18
Fürst Kraft Ernst zu Oettingen Wallerstein
Prince Kraft Ernst zu Oettingen-Wallerstein
© Fürst Wallerstein Gesamtverwaltung

Arrival in Munich and meeting with composer Christian Cannabich (bapt. 1731-12-28 Mannheim; d. 1798-01-20 Frankfurt am Main), one of the main proponents of the Mannheim music school, possibly also with his son Carl Cannabich (bapt. 1771-10-11 Mannheim; d. 1806-05-01 Munich).
The "Münchner Zeitung" of 1790-12-22 says under the heading "Anzeige der hier angekommenen Fremden" [News of here arrived strangers]: "5) Bei Hrn. Schrobenhauser, Weingastgeber zum deutschen Ritter in der Kaufingergasse. Den 18. – Hr. v. Haydn, Fürst Esterhasischer Kapellmeister mit Hrn. v. Salomon, Konzertmeister aus London." ["5) At Mr Schrobenhauser, wine host of 'to the German knight' at Kaufingergasse. The 18th. – Mr v Haydn, Count Esterhasi's music director together with Mr v Salomon, concertmaster from London."]

Monday, 1790-12-20

Arrival in Wallerstein at Count Kraft Ernst von Oettingen-Wallerstein (b. 1748-08-03 Hohenaltheim; d. 1802-10-06 Wallerstein). Haydn had been in contact with the Count for some time and sent him the copies of some symphonies (esp. Hob. I:90-92) and other pieces. Most probably Haydn conducts the Wallerstein court chapel in a performance of his symphony Hob. I:92 (also known as 'Oxford') [other pieces cannot be exactly verified].

Thursday, 1790-12-23

Overnight stay in Frankfurt am Main

Saturday, 1790-12-25

Arrival in Bonn at around 1 p.m.

Sunday, 1790-12-26

Day of rest>br> Performance of a Haydn mass (one out of Hob. XXII:4-8) in the palace chapel in Bonn [present state]. Prince-Elector Maximilian introduces Haydn to the musicians of his court orchestra (inter alia Joseph Reicha, Franz Ries, Nikolaus Simrock [see Kurkölnischer Hofkalender auf das Jahr 1790, p. 16-18] of which also Ludwig van Beethoven is a member as an organist and viola player.

Thursday, 1790-12-30

Arrival in Brussels, Haydn relaxes during a one-hour break.

Friday, 1790-12-31

Arrival in Calais



William Turner Calais Pier
William Turner, Calais Pier (1803)
© The National Gallery, London
Saturday, 1791-01-01

Ferry crossing from Calais to Dover after attending Mass in Calais at 7 o'clock. For the first time Haydn experiences "das ungeheure Thier das Meer" [that mighty monster the ocean]. The crossing takes about 9 1/2 hours because of bad winds instead of 4-7 hours on an average, so that he disembarks in Dover at about 5 p.m.

Sunday, 1791-01-02

Last stage of the long journey with an English stage coach. Arrival of Haydn and Salomon in London. Haydn lives with Salomon in 18 Great Pulteney Street, diagonally opposite of the famous music dealer Broadwood in 33 Great Pulteney Street.
Haydn writes to Frau von Genzinger: "ich gebrauchte 2 Tag um mich zu erhollen. nun aber bin ich wider ganz frisch und Munter, und betrachte die unendlich grosse stadt london, welche wegen Ihren verschiedenen schönheiten und wunder dingen ganz in Erstaunung versezt" [I needed 2 days to recover. Now, however, I am fresh and lively again, and look at this endlessly huge city of London, which astonishes me because of its various beauties and marvels.]

Thursday, 1791-01-06

Concert of the Academy of Ancient Music in Freemasons Hall. Conductor is Dr Samuel Arnold (b. 1740-08-10 London; d. 1802-11-22 ib.), concertmaster Johann Peter Salomon, singers Nancy Storace (b. 1765-10-27 London; d. 1817-08-24 ib.) and Michael Kelly (b. 1762-12-25 Dublin; d. 1826-10-09 Margate). Against Landon's assumptions (CCLN 113) Haydn does not attend the concert, however on the next day.

Friday, 1791-01-07

Amateur Concert in which Haydn is enthusiastically welcomed and is seated on the place of honour at the subsequent dinner.

Wednesday, 1791-01-12

Haydn attends a concert of the Anacreontic Society in the "Crown & Anchor Tavern"

Saturday, 1791-01-15

Birth of Franz Grillparzer in Vienna (d. 1872-01-21 ib.)


Monday, 1791-02-07

First of the 12 "Professional Concerts" under the direction of Wilhelm Cramer (bapt. 1746-06-02 Mannheim; d. 1799-10-05 London) at Hanover Square Rooms. Haydn is given a season ticket made of ivory which moves him deeply. For many years the "Professional Concerts" play Haydn's works regularly. This shows that a disrespect against Haydn and his works, as suggested in some research, cannot be proved. There are some rivalries between the concert promoters which also affect Haydn in some cases.

Wednesday, 1791-02-09

"Concert of Antient [sic!] Music" in Tottenham Street. Haydn and the music historian Dr Charles Burney (b. 1726-04-07 Shrewsbury, Shropshire; d. 1814-04-12 Chelsea/London) attend the concert. Burney later becomes a trusted friend for Haydn.

Friday, 1791-02-11

The 12 "Salomon's Concerts" should start on this Friday at Hanover Square Rooms according to an announcement in the "Public Advertiser". Because of the said rivalries between concert promoters who partly engaged the same musicians and singers the series of concerts is postponed by one month.

Johann Peter Salomon
Johann Peter Salomon (by Thomas Hardy c. 1791)
© The Royal College of Music
Wednesday, 1791-02-16

First official encounter of Haydn and Dr Charles Burney.


Friday, 1791-03-11

First Salomon's concert with overwhelming success for Haydn. Premiere of symphony Hob. I:96, some researchers with less plausibility also consider the symphonies Hob. I:90, I:92, I:95 and I:85.

Friday, 1791-03-18

Second Salomon's concert with a quartet out of Hob. III:63-68 and repeat of the symphony from the first concert

Friday, 1791-03-25

Third Salomon's concert with a symphony and an aria


Friday, 1791-04-01

Fourth Salomon's concert with the premiere of symphony Hob. I:95, for symphony I:96 see 1791-03-11. Sometimes you will find symphony I:90 in literature, but it was finished and performed already in 1788.

Friday, 1791-04-08

Fifth Salomon's concert with divertimenti Hob. II:27 or II:28.

Friday, 1791-04-15

Sixth Salomon's concert with repeats of the programs from the first and second concerts

Friday, 1791-04-22

Good Friday: No concert

Saturday, 1791-04-23

Social evening party with Burney. On the program are "The Seven Last Words" in quartet version Hob. XX/1A, Haydn plays the second violin, Burney's nephews play the first violin and viola, Mr Gun from Cambridge plays the violoncello.

Friday, 1791-04-29

Seventh Salomon's concert, premiere of symphony Hob. I:95 or I:96, possibly I:90 (see first and fourth concert)

Saturday, 1791-04-30

Haydn conducts a concert with numerous own works organised by the most important London opera impresario of that time Sir John (rather: Giovanni Andrea) Gallini (b. 1728-01-07 Florence; d. 1805-01-05 London).


Monday, 1791-05-02

Haydn is not used to the noise of the city of London and wants quietness for his composing work (see letter to Marianne von Genzinger of 1791-01-08). He moves to a farm in Lisson Grove (today part of the City of Westminster) and lives there until the sale of the farm in July 1791.

Friday, 1791-05-06

Eighth Salomon's concert with a quartet from Hob. III:63-68 (as in the second concert) and repeat of the symphony from the seventh concert

Friday, 1791-05-13

Ninth Salomon's concert with a quartet (as in the eighth concert), a cantata sung by Nancy Storace and a Grand Overture which at that time meant another symphony

Monday, 1791-05-16

Benefit concert for Haydn with exclusively works from Haydn's hand

Friday, 1791-05-20
Ranelagh Gardens Rotunde
London, Ranelagh Gardens Rotunda

Tenth Salomon's concert with a "concertino" (impossible to ascribe) and a Grand Symphony

Saturday, 1791-05-21

Haydn attends a concert in the rotunda at Ranelagh Gardens. The rather old violinist Felice Giardini (b. 1716-04-12 Turin; d. 1796-06-08 Moscow) plays badly, Haydn comments: "He played like a pig." (Griesinger 40)

Monday, 1791-05-23

George Frederick Handel Festival in Westminster Abbey "by command of their majesties" in the presence of Haydn. More than 1000 participating artists perform Handel's major works like the oratorio "Israel in Egypt", several concerts and hymns, extracts from "Esther", "Deborah", "Saul", and "Judas Maccabaeus".

Thursday, 1791-05-26

George Frederick Handel Festival in Westminster Abbey "by command of their majesties" in the presence of Haydn. More than 1000 participating artists perform Handel's major works like the oratorio "Israel in Egypt", several concerts and hymns, extracts from "Esther", "Deborah", "Saul", and "Judas Maccabaeus".

Friday, 1791-05-27

Eleventh Salomon's concert with a symphony (one of those from Hob. I:90, I:95, I:96 not yet played), an aria from the opera "L'anima del filosofo" Hob. XXVIII:13, and a quartet (see sixth concert)

Saturday, 1791-05-28

George Frederick Handel Festival in Westminster Abbey "by command of their majesties" in the presence of Haydn. More than 1000 participating artists perform Handel's major works like the oratorio "Israel in Egypt", several concerts and hymns, extracts from "Esther", "Deborah", "Saul", and "Judas Maccabaeus".


Wednesday, 1791-06-01

To close the Handel Festival his oratorio "Messiah" is performed. Haydn is deeply moved by those overwhelming days of music. His biographer Giuseppe Carpani reports: "Haydn confessed, when he heard Handel's music in London, he was so impressed that he felt himself to be at the beginning of his studies, as if he had known nothing up to this date. He meditated every note and from these highly erudite scores learned the essence of true musical greatness." ("Mi confessava l'Haydn che udita in Londra la Musica dell' Hendl [sic!], ne fu tanto colpito che si pose da capo a' suoi studj [at that time usual spelling of double-i at the end of a word], come se non avesse nulla saputo fino a quell'ora. Egli ne medito ogni nota, ed attinse a que' dottisimi Spartiti il succo della vera grandiosità musicale." Carpani 162 f.)

Friday, 1791-06-03

Twelfth Salomon's concert with a repeat of the symphony from the eleventh concert

Thursday, 1791-06-09

4000 children [according to Haydn's report, other sources speak of c. 6000] sing at the "Charity Schools Anniversary Meeting" in St Paul's Cathedral [at that place for the first time in 1782]. Haydn comments: "keine Music rührte mich zeit lebens so hefftig als diese andachts volle and unschuldige" (A-Wn, Ms.15391, f.20b) [No music moved me so deeply in my whole life as this devotional and innocent].
You find a watercolour of this unusual event in the Museum of London.
There were a lot of ambiguities about the date of this event, because Haydn himself wrote into his London notebook: "8 Tage v[o]r Pfingsten hörte ich in St. Pauls-Kürch 4000 spittall Kinder nach stehendes lied singen, ein Performer gab den Tact dazu" [8 days before Pentecost I heard 4000 charity children in St Paul's Church sing the song noted below, one performer indicated the tempo]. The frequently repeated allegations that this event has usually taken place on the first Thursday in June at least since 1782 (Pohl HiL 212, Pohl-Botstiber 3, 56/57, Landon 3, 173) and the attributions by Dies (127/128) and Griesinger (40/41) to 1792 made even Landon leave this question unanswered for lack of reliable sources.
Now Ian Spink reliably verified the date (Spink 2005, 273-280). Haydn confused the day by saying "8 days before Pentecost" as this was occasionally true for his notebook. Moreover the attribution to 1792 was arbitrary.

Sunday, 1791-06-12


Monday, 1791-06-13

Haydn conducts a benefit concert of the two prodigies Franz Clement (b. 1780-11-18 Vienna; d. 1842-11-03 ib.) and Johann Nepomuk Hummel

Wednesday, 1791-06-15

Benefit concert of the singer, pianist, harpist, and composer Sophia Corri (b. 1775-05-01 Edinburgh; d. after 1828 probably London) with Haydn's participation

Wednesday, 1791-06-22

Haydn's entry into the guestbook of Franz Clement: "Consummatum est" [It is fulfilled], a quote with notes from the "Seven Words". Haydn adds: "Joseph Haydn dein ächter Freund" [your true friend]

Oxford Sheldonian Theatre by Christopher Wren
Oxford Sheldonian Theatre (1664-1669 by Christopher Wren)
Historical view of the interior during a ceremony
© ExperienceOxfordshire


Wednesday, 1791-07-06 until Friday, 1791-07-08

Celebrations on the occasion of Haydn being awarded a music doctorate in Oxford ("Doktor der Tonkunst"). Performance of symphony Hob. I:92 ("Oxford"), participation of Franz Clement on 1791-07-07. The doctorate was initiated by Dr Charles Burney, the famous musicologist.
We have a detailed report of the occasion in The Gentleman's Magazine of July 1791.

Thursday, 1791-07-14

Death of Antonio Polzelli sen, husband to Luigia Polzelli born Moreschi.
The death entry of the Vienna parish Maria Treu shows a dubious part at first sight: Originally the certifying minister in his own hand writes under the caption 'Nummer' "83" and under the caption 'Jahre' "56", then changes the number in "56" and the years in "83". This "correction" is wrong, because the documented house with the name plate "Weißer Wolf" in the Vienna Josefstadt is situated in Josefstadt, Lange Gasse 83, according to the Viennese nameplate register of 1795. There are six more Viennese houses bearing the nameplate "Weißer Wolf" without having anything to do with the numbers 56 or 83.
Thus the questions about Antonio Polzelli's age are resolved, and the evidence given in several parts of Haydn research as to Polzelli's year of birth "ca. 1735" is confirmed, thus three years younger than Haydn.

Saturday, 1791-07-16

Birth of Mozart's second surviving son Wolfgang Franz Xaver Mozart in Vienna (d. 1844-07-29 Karlsbad)


Thursday, 1791-08-04

Haydn makes a five-week stay at the home of banker Nathanael Brassey (b. 1752; d. 1798) in Roxford near Hertingfordbury, Herts. Unlike many other places of Haydn's lifetime, this house still exists.


Monday, 1791-09-26

After his stay at the Brasseys Haydn returns to London, which is documented by an entry into the guestbook of music dealer Broadwood

Friday, 1791-09-30

Premiere of the opera "Die Zauberflöte" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at "Theater auf der Wieden" in the Vienna suburb of Wieden


Thursday, 1791-10-20

Haydn visits Oxford for the second time to attend a meeting of the Musical Graduates Society

Wednesday, 1791-10-26

Haydn attends a meeting of the Musical Graduates Society and is accepted as a member.
Performance of the opera "Orlando paladino" Hob. XXVIII:11 in Brno, the capital of Moravia


Saturday, 1791-11-05

Haydn is guest at the induction ceremony of the new Lord Mayor Sir John Hopkins at Guildhall

Wednesday, 1791-11-09

Haydn is guest at the farewell ceremony of the outgoing Lord Mayor John Boydell (b. 1719/20 Dorington; d. 1804 London)

Wednesday, 1791-11-23

Haydn attends a performance of a marionette opera at the "Théatre of variétés amusantes" in Savile Row.
Frederick Augustus, Duke of York (b. 1763-08-16 London; d. 1827-01-05 ib.), marries Princess Friederike Charlotte Ulrike Katharina (b. 1767-05-07 Potsdam; d. 1820-08-06 Weybridge, Surrey), daughter of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II, following the English rite, the actual marriage having taken place already on 1791-09-29 in the Berlin Charlottenburg palace. Princess Friederike will become one of Haydn's most enthusiastic supporters.

Thursday, 1791-11-24 till Sunday, 1791-11-27

Haydn attends a concert with the Duke and Duchess of York at their estate in Oatlands, and is accompanied by The Prince of Wales.

Monday, 1791-11-28

Haydn attends a performance of "Richard Cœur de Lion" at Haymarket Theatre, Suffolk Street

Wednesday, 1791-11-30

Haydn leaves London for a three-day trip in the country to Sir Patrick Blake, 2nd Bt. [Baronet] (b. c. 1768; d. 1818-07-25) at Langham, Suffolk, 100 miles north-east of London


Monday, 1791-12-05

Death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna.
In his London notebook Haydn reports very thick fog in London, which is why he has to turn on the light already at 11 a.m.

Thursday, 1791-12-08

Haydn attends a concert of the Anacreontic Society mainly performing his own works

Covent Garden Theatre
Covent Garden Theatre before 1808
© Wikimedia Commons
Saturday, 1791-12-10

Haydn attends the opera "The Woodman" by William Shield at Covent Garden. He gives an extensive report of this event in his second London notebook (Bartha HBA 509).

Tuesday, 1791-12-20

Haydn learns about Mozart's death and writes to Marianne von Genzinger: "ich freue mich kindisch nach Hauß um meine gute Freunde zu umarmen. nur bedaure ich dieses an den grossen Mozart zu Entbehren... die nachweld beckomt nicht in 100 Jahren wider ein solch Talent."[I'm happy like a child to come home to embrace my good friends. Only I regret to miss the great Mozart... Posterity will not get such a talent in 100 years] In January 1792 he writes to Johann Michael Puchberg (b. 1741-09-22 Zwettl, Lower Austria; d. 1822-01-21 Vienna), a friend and fellow mason of Mozart: "ich war über seinen Todt eine geraume Zeit ganz ausser mir und konnte es nicht glauben, daß die Vorsicht so schnell einen unersetzlichen Mann in die andere Welt fordern sollte..."[For a long time I was beside myself and could not believe that providence called such an irreplaceable man for the other world]

Thursday, 1791-12-22

Haydn attends a concert of the Anacreontic Society mainly performing his own works

Friday, 1791-12-23

Arrival of Ignaz Pleyel in London and encounter with Haydn. Pleyel takes his flat quite near to Haydn in 25, Great Pulteney Street.

Saturday, 1791-12-24

Haydn is invited to dine with Pleyel.

Saturday, 1791-12-31

In the company of Pleyel Haydn attends the opera "La Pastorella nobile" by Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi (b. 1728-12-09 Massa; d. 1804-11-18 Rome) at Pantheon Theatre in Oxford Street.



Friday, 1792-01-13

Only a fortnight after Haydn's visit the Pantheon Theatre burns down to complete destruction.


Friday, 1792-02-17

First Salomon's concert with the premiere of symphony Hob. I:93

Sunday, 1792-02-19

Haydn is invited to a large soupé at Lord Clermont's [Claremont] (rather: William Henry [Fortescue], 1st Earl of Clermont, b. 1722-08-05; d. 1806-09-30)

Friday, 1792-02-24

Second Salomon's concert with the premiere of the cantata "Der Sturm" [The Tempest] Hob. XXIVa:8


Friday, 1792-03-02

Third Salomon's concert with the premiere of symphony Hob. I:98
Haydn writes a very important letter to Marianne von Genzinger.

Friday, 1792-03-09

Fourth Salomon's concert with the premiere of symphony Hob. I:105

Friday, 1792-03-16

Fifth Salomon's concert with a programme including various vocal arrangements

Friday, 1792-03-23

Sixth Salomon's concert with the premiere of symphony Hob. I:94


Friday, 1792-04-13

Seventh Salomon's concert with the performance of Hob. I:91[?] and I:98

Friday, 1792-04-20

Eighth Salomon's concert with the performance of Hob. I:94 and others with the participation of Johann Nepomuk Hummel in the trio Hob. XV:14

Friday, 1792-04-27

Ninth Salomon's concert with the performance of Hob. I:92 and others


Thursday, 1792-05-03

Benefit concert for Haydn at Hanover Square Rooms nearly exclusively with Haydn's works

Friday, 1792-05-04

Tenth Salomon's concert with the premiere of Hob. I:97 and others

Friday, 1792-05-11

Eleventh Salomon's concert with the performance of Hob. I:97 and others

Friday, 1792-05-18

Twelfth Salomon's concert with performances of Hob. I:95 or I:96 or I:90, and I:93

Monday, 1792-05-21

Benefit concert for Salomon with the participation of Haydn


Herschel Telescope
The 40 inch telescope of William Herschel at Slough
© Wikimedia Commons
Sunday, 1792-06-03

Haydn dines with the singers Gertrud Elisabeth Mara (b. 1749-02-23 Kassel; d. 1833-01-20 Reval), Michael Kelly, and Nancy Storace at Nancy's brother Stephen Storace (b. 1762-04-04 London; d. 1796-03-19 ib.)

Monday, 1792-06-04

Haydn is guest conductor at the concert to celebrate the birthday of King George III (b. 1738-06-04 London; d. 1820-01-29 Windsor) in Vauxhall.

Friday, 1792-06-15

According to his notebook Haydn visits Sir William Herschel's Observatory House in Slough in Salomon's company. He deeply admires the giant telescope and describes the other telescopes in detail (HBA p. 486).
Laurence Joyce in his 2003 article resumes the state of research on this event pointing out that particularly there was no meeting of Haydn and Herschel, because Herschel was on his way to Glasgow to receive an honorary degree awarded by the University of Glasgow. All further assumptions e.g. on Haydn being overwhelmed by a look through the telescope and getting the first inspirations for "The Creation" are pure fiction, because at midsummer in Southern England no stargazing is reasonably possible. One unclear point still remains, and that is the date, because Haydn writes having been there on Friday, 1792-06-15, whereas Herschel's guestbook, managed by his sister Caroline, shows Thursday, 1792-06-14. There are some theories, but as is often the case, we cannot establish absolute clarity here, because Haydn as well as other persons from his time tended to readily confound dates.


Tuesday, 1792-07-03

Haydn leaves London most probably from the Spread Eagle Inn. The route of the journey by stage coach is: London-Dover-Calais-Brussels-Bonn-Godesberg-Frankfurt-Würzburg-Regensburg-Passau-Vienna.

Wednesday, 1792-07-04

Overnight stay in Calais

Tuesday, 1792-07-10

On his journey through Bonn Haydn meets the publisher Nikolaus Simrock because of some printing troubles concerning several symphonies.
Overnight stay in Godesberg

Wednesday, 1792-07-11

Breakfast at the "Redoute" [small palais and dancehall] of Godesberg [today: Bad Godesberg - a district of Bonn]. Haydn meets Ludwig van Beethoven there who shows Haydn two cantatas.

Godesberg Redoute
The Godesberg Redoute seen from the stela

There is a stela in the park behind the Redoute recalling this meeting. Haydn research assumes this meeting to be the reason for Beethoven's stay in Vienna as Haydn's student after further agreements with elector Maximilian.

Friday, 1792-07-13

Arrival of Haydn in Frankfurt.
He tries the "newly invented instrument, the 'Harmonica Celestina'". There are reports about this event in some newspapers, people are invited to come to concerts and describe the new instrument at length.

Saturday, 1792-07-14

Coronation of Franz II as Holy-Roman Emperor in the St. Bartholomew Cathedral at Frankfurt on Main. Prince Anton I Esterházy as Hungarian magnate is in attendance. He has ordered Haydn to come to Frankfurt.

Tuesday, 1792-07-17

Haydn meets with publisher Bernhard Schott in Biebrich [today: district of Wiesbaden]. They discuss the publication of some works. The publishing house Schott still exists today.

Saturday, 1792-07-21

Arrival in Regensburg and overnight stay in the standard stage coach tavern Zum weißen Lamm.

Monday, 1792-07-23

Arrival in Linz and overnight stay in the standard stage coach tavern "Zum goldenen Stück" (see 1790-12-18).

Wednesday, 1792-07-25

Haydn returns to Vienna. According to Pohl-Botstiber (III, 62) this should have happened on Tuesday, 1792-07-24 without giving any evidence for this date. My research on Haydn's London journeys shows clearly that Haydn could only have returned on Wednesday, 1792-07-25, as earliest, but extremely plausible date.


Saturday, 1792-11-10

Ludwig van Beethoven arrives in Vienna and starts his studies with Haydn. Much has been studied and written about the relation between these two famous composers with an age difference of 38 years, which shall not be repeated here.


[poss. 1794] Count Karl Leonhard Harrach (b. 1765-07-11 Rohrau; d. 1831-03-08 Vienna) founds the first Haydn monument which is erected in the palace gardens of Rohrau. Today this monument is located in front of the Rohrau municipal office.


Saturday, 1793-01-26

Death of Marianne von Genzinger at the age of only 38 of lung disease


Friday, 1793-03-15

Haydn gives a concert in Vienna with three of the so-called "London" symphonies


Saturday, 1793-05-18

The "Berlinische Musikalische Zeitung" reports from London about "Neuester Zustand der Conzert- and Theatermusik in London" [present state of concert and theatre music in London]


Wednesday, 1793-08-14

Purchase contract with master weaver Ignaz Weißgram for a house

Wien Haydnhaus
Haydn's residence Vienna

and subsequently a letter by Haydn to the Vienna magistrate with a request for approval of an extension of this house in Vienna-Windmühle (today Gumpendorf), Kleine Steingasse 71. Between 1793 and 1799 the houses in the Kleine Steingasse are renumbered, Haydn's house receiving number 73. Because of this renumbering you will find different house numbers in the Haydn literature. The map of Gumpendorf and the Vienna street index from 1803 on show number 73. Haydn already uses number 73 in his subscription notice for "The Creation" of 1799-06-15.


Sunday, 1793-12-22

Haydn gives an academy and conducts "for the benefit of widows and orphans" at the Imperial National Theatre (Burgtheater). The programme contains the six "London" symphonies Hob. I:93-I:98.

Monday, 1793-12-23

Haydn gives an academy and conducts at the Imperial National Theatre (Burgtheater) "for the benefit of widows and orphans". The programme contains the six "London" symphonies Hob. I:93-I:98.



Sunday, 1794-01-19

Haydn leaves Vienna for his second journey to London. He is accompanied by his valet Johann Elßler (route of the journey by stage coach: Vienna-Linz-Passau-Regensburg-Wiesbaden-Bonn-Calais-Dover-London).

Tuesday, 1794-01-21

Haydn and Elßler pass the border between Upper Austria and the Kingdom of Bavaria in Schärding. Griesinger 47 reports the "Tonkünstler-Anekdote".
They stop and pass the night in Passau.
Feder/Webster 2002 and Oppermann 2008 think that Haydn's "Seven last words" have been performed in the edition of Johann Joseph Friberth (bapt. 1724-12-05 Gnadendorf/Lower Austria; d. 1799-08-06 Passau) this very night. On the contrary we have Sigismud von Neukomm's statement (referred to by Pohl 2,217-18 and Landon CW 3,320) that this performance has only been performed on Haydn's second return from London on Sunday 1795-08-30. Until further evidence this question will be unanswered.

Regensburg Steinerne Brücke
Regensburg Steinerne Brücke with St Peter Cathedral
and Gasthof Zum weißen Lamm
The white lamb
Commemorative plaque
Wednesday, 1794-01-22

Death of Prince Anton I Esterházy in Vienna. His successor is his son Count Nikolaus II. Esterházy de Galantha.
Arrival of Haydn and Elßlers in Regensburg. The "Regensburgisches Diarium" reports, "Zum Ostenthor herein: Den 22. Per Posta, Tit. Herr von Hayde, Fürstl. Esterhazyscher Kapellmeister, s. 2. log. im weißen Lamm". [Incoming through the east gate: on the 22nd by mail coach, Hon Mr von Hayde, Kapellmeister to Count Esterhazy, two persons lodging in the white lamb].

Thursday, 1794-01-23

Haydn and Elßler leave Regensburg. The "Regensburgisches Diarium" again reports, "Zur steinernen Bruck hinaus: Den 23. Per Posta, Tit. Herr von Heyde, Fürstl. Esterhazyscher Kapellmeister, s. 2.". [Leaving across the stone bridge: on the 23rd by mail coach, Hon Mr von Heyde, Kapellmeister to Count Esterhazy, two persons].

Sunday, 1794-01-26

Arrival in Wiesbaden. Haydn and Elßler stay at Gasthof "Zum Einhorn" [The Unicorn] (present address: Marktstraße 34, 65183 Wiesbaden).
Dies 148 reports an inspiring encounter between Haydn and several Prussian officers who play the Andante of symphony Hob. I:94 in the neighbouring room (officers' anecdote).


Saturday, 1794-02-01

Arrival and overnight stay in Calais. It seems most likely that Haydn sells the coach in Calais, because the ferries boats are not adapted for the transport of vehicles.

Monday, 1794-02-03

Ferry crossing Calais–Dover after the morning service about 7.30. Overnight stay in Dover.

Rebecca Schroeter
Rebecca Schroeter
© Haydnfestival Eisenstadt
Tuesday, 1794-02-04

Arrival of Haydn and Elßler in London, Haydn lives at 1 Bury Street, St James, in the neighbourhood of Rebecca Schroeter.

Monday, 1794-02-10

First Salomon's concert with premiere of symphony Hob. I:99

Monday, 1794-02-17

Second Salomon's concert

Monday, 1794-02-24

Third Salomon's concert


Monday, 1794-03-03

Fourth Salomon's concert with premiere of symphony Hob. I:101

Monday, 1794-03-10

Fifth Salomon's concert

Monday, 1794-03-17

Sixth Salomon's concert

Monday, 1794-03-24

Seventh Salomon's concert

Monday, 1794-03-31

Eighth Salomon's concert with premiere of symphony Hob. I:100 audio sample of the 4th movement.


Monday, 1794-04-07

Ninth Salomon's concert with participation of singer Madame Mara. Haydn conducts one of his own symphonies

Friday, 1794-04-18

Haydn plays the viola at a private evening concert at the home of the Prussian Ambassador Constans Philipp Wilhelm von Jacobi-Klöst (b. c. 1745; d. 1817-07-10 Dresden) in one of his latest quartets [to be examined Hob. III:69-74 Apponyi quartets]

Monday, 1794-04-28

Tenth Salomon's concert


Friday, 1794-05-02

Benefit concert for Haydn with two own symphonies (one of which is Hob. I:100), Giovanni Battista Viotti (b. 1755-05-12 Fontanetto Po; d. 1824-03-03 London) plays a concert for the violin, Johann Ludwig Dussek (Czech: Jan Ladislav Dusík, b. 1760-02-12 Tschaslau/Bohemia; d. 1812-03-20 Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Paris) plays pieces for the piano, and Miss Maria Frances Parke (b. 1772-08-26 London; d. 1822-07-31 ib.) sings various songs.

Monday, 1794-05-05

Eleventh Salomon's concert

Monday, 1794-05-12

Twelfth Salomon's concert

Monday, 1794-05-19

Benefit concert for Miss Parke with Haydn's participation

Monday, 1794-05-26

Benefit concert for Francois Hippolyte Barthélemon (b. 1741-07-27 Bordeaux; d. 1808-07-20 Christ Church, Surrey) with Haydn's participation. Haydn is a good friend of the Barthélemon family, daughter Cecilia Maria (b. 1767-09-01 London; d. 1859-12-05 Tottenhill, Norfolk) is a fairly good musician, singer, and composer.

Wednesday, 1794-05-28

Benefit concert for Johann Peter Salomon with Haydn's participation


John Hunter
John Hunter
by Joshua Reynolds
Unfortunately there is no authentic picture of Anne Hunter
Tuesday, 1794-06-03

Corri, Dussek & Co. publish "VI Original Canzonettas [1st set]" Hob. XXVIa:25-30, which become really popular at this time. Many critics regard them as some of Haydn's finest songs (Landon 3, 258). The author of the lyrics is Anne Home Hunter (b. 1742[prob.1743]-03-13 Waterford, Ireland; d. 1821-01-07 London), wife/widow of the famous surgeon and anatomist John Hunter (b. 1728-02-13 Long Calderwood, Scotland; d. 1793-10-16 London).
John Hunter is the surgeon whom Haydn mentions in his personal memories towards Dies 124 and Griesinger 77. If you believe Dies, Hunter is rather "forceful" in freeing Haydn from his longer existing pain with polyps. Haydn refuses in a comparably forceful manner.
Anne Hunter is a renowned writer at her time and is often seen as Haydn's muse during his stays in London. Similar to his friendship with Rebecca Schroeter we are astonished about the depth and intimacy in Haydn's statements and letters, which time and again leads to speculations about the nature of their relationsships, but nobody can honestly prove anything. Especially the song "O tuneful voice!" Hob. XXVIa:42 is interpreted as a mutual token of love between Hunter and Haydn.
Later Anne Hunter writes the English libretto of "The Creation".

Monday, 1794-06-09

Benefit concert for oboist Johann Christian Fischer (b. 1733 Freiburg; d. 1800-04-29 London) with Haydn's participation

Monday, 1794-06-16

Final concert of the season with Haydn's participation

Sunday, 1794-06-29

Execution of Maximilien Robespierre (b. 1758-05-06 Arras) in Paris


Wednesday, 1794-07-09

Haydn visits Portsmouth, Gosport, the Isle of Wight, Winchester, and Hampton Court Palace

Tuesday, 1794-07-15

Haydn visits the Bank of England

Wednesday, 1794-07-23

Haydn observes and reports a big fire in London

Monday, 1794-07-28

Haydn attends a concert with two Scottish musical comedies by Samuel James Arnold (son of Samuel Arnold, b. 1774; d. 1852) at Haymarket Theatre. His comment: "O che bestie!" [Oh, how horrible]


Saturday, 1794-08-02

Haydn makes a trip in the country. First he visits Bath and meets singer, pianist, and composer Venanzio Rauzzini (b. 1746-12-19 Camerino; d. 1810-04-08 Bath)

Wednesday, 1794-08-06

Haydn visits Bristol

Friday, 1794-08-15

Haydn visits Canterbury (date to be verified)

Tuesday, 1794-08-26

Haydn visits Waverley Abbey on his way to Sir Charles Rich (b. c. 1751; d. 1824-09-12 Southampton) in Farnham, Surrey


Monday, 1794-10-13

Haydn attends a performance of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" at Covent Garden Theatre with music pieces by William Shield (b. 1748-03-05 Swalwell; d. 1829-01-25 London).


Saturday, 1794-11-01

Haydn attends a performance of pantomime "Herkules and Omphale" with music by William Shield, partly also by Haydn

Friday, 1794-11-14

Haydn goes on a journey to Preston with Lord Abingdon (rather: Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon, b. 1740-01-16 Gainsborough; d. 1799-09-26 Rycote), an English politician and music lover. Preston, Hertfordshire is the home of Baron Aston (rather: Sir Willoughby Aston, 6th Bt., b. 1748; d. 1815-03-22) and his wife Jane, two equally great lovers of Haydn's music, who most of the time live in London and know Haydn well.


Monday, 1794-12-15

Haydn visits organist and conductor Joah Bates (b. c. 1740 Halifax; d. 1799-06-08 London) who organised the "Concerts of Ancient Music" and the Handel Festivals at Westminster Abbey from 1776 until 1793.


London Bridge
London Bridge 1795
in the background St Magnus the Martyr and The Monument


Monday, 1795-01-12

Johann Peter Salomon stops his concert series, because he cannot engage enough international artists due to the French war. Haydn makes an agreement with Opera Concerts founded by Giovanni Battista Viotti to perform there.

Wednesday, 1795-01-21

Dinner with composer and conductor Sir (Dr) William Parsons (b. c. 1745; d. 1817) in the company of Samuel Arnold and organist and composer Thomas Sanders Dupuis (b. 1733-11-16 London; d. 1796-07-17 ib.).


Sunday, 1795-02-01

Soirée with Haydn and his music at the royal family (King George III, Queen Charlotte, George Prince of Wales).
As sole living composer Haydn is admitted to the "Ancient Concerts" programmes.

Monday, 1795-02-02

First Opera Concert with premiere of symphony Hob. I:102

Tuesday, 1795-02-03

Concert at the Prince of Wales'

Monday, 1795-02-16

Second Opera Concert

Monday, 1795-02-23

Third Opera Concert


Monday, 1795-03-02

Fourth Opera Concert with premiere of symphony Hob. I:103

Monday, 1795-03-16

Fifth Opera Concert

Tuesday, 1795-03-24

Benefit concert at Hanover Square Rooms with Madame Mara

Saturday, 1795-03-28

Haydn attends the opera "Acis e Galathea" by Francesco Bianchi (b. 1752 Cremona; d. 1810-11-27 London) at King's Theatre

Thursday, 1795-03-29

First public performance of Ludwig van Beethoven in Vienna with his 2nd concerto for piano and orchestra


Wednesday, 1795-04-08

(Forced) marriage of the Prince of Wales, later George IV (b. 1762-08-12 London; d. 1830-06-26 Windsor) to Caroline von Braunschweig (b. 1768-05-17 Braunschweig; d. 1821-08-08 London)

Friday, 1795-04-10

Haydn takes a musical part in the opera "Windsor Castle" (music by Salomon, overture by Haydn) at Covent Garden. He "presides" the orchestra at the piano, Salomon leads the orchestra from first violin.
Soirée with Haydn at Carlton House, home to the Prince of Wales.

Monday, 1795-04-13

Sixth Opera Concert

Wednesday, 1795-04-15

Concert at the Prince of Wales'

Friday, 1795-04-17

Concert at the Prince of Wales'

Sunday, 1795-04-19

Concert at the Prince of Wales'

Buckingham House
Buckingham House 1819
by William Henry Pyne
Monday, 1795-04-20

Concert of the "New Musical Fund" with Haydn's participation

Tuesday, 1795-04-21

Concert at Buckingham House [sic!] with Queen Charlotte and King George III

Friday, 1795-04-24

Benefit concert of singer Harriett Abrams (b. c. 1758; d. 1821-03-08 Torquay) with Haydn's participation

Monday, 1795-04-27

Seventh Opera Concert


Monday, 1795-05-04

Last Benefit concert of Haydn at Haymarket Theatre with premiere of symphony Hob. I:104 and premiere of the famous aria "Berenice che fai" Hob. XXIVa:10, sung by the very expressive soprano Brigida Giorgi Banti (b. c. 1757 Crema or Cremona; d. 1806-02-18 Bologna). Haydn comments in his notebook: "She sang very scanty". The concert generates proceeds of 4000 fl and Haydn's comment: "Such a thing is only possible in England".

Monday, 1795-05-11

Eighth Opera Concert

Saturday, 1795-05-16

Haydn is witness to the marriage of pianist Therese Jansen to engraver Gaetano Bartolozzi (b. 1757 Rome; d. 1821-08-25 London) at London's St James Church.

Monday, 1795-05-18

Ninth Opera Concert

Thursday, 1795-05-21

First extra concert of the Opera Concert series

Tuesday, 1795-05-26

Second extra concert of the Opera Concert series as final concert of the season at King's Theatre


Monday, 1795-06-01

Extra concert at King's Theatre with Haydn's participation

Wednesday, 1795-06-03

Concert of violinist John Hindmarsh (b. c. 1759; d. 1796-11-00 London) with Haydn's participation

Monday, 1795-06-08

Haydn conducts a concert with flutist Andrew Ashe (b. c. 1758 Lisburn, Ireland; int. 1838-04-30 Dublin) and Madame Mara


Saturday, 1795-08-15

Haydn and Elßler leave London to never come back again (route of the journey by stage coach: London-Harwich-Hellevoetsluis-Rotterdam-Hamburg-Dresden-Regensburg-Passau-Vienna)

Hamburg 1811
by Johann Marcus David
Thursday, 1795-08-20

Haydn arrives in Hamburg. He visits the daughter of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (b. 1714-03-08 Weimar; d. 1788-12-14 Hamburg). The question why Haydn does not know about the death of CPE Bach who died seven years ago, remains [so far] unanswered. Haydn stays overnight at bookseller Johann Heinrich Herold and to the regret of Hamburg's music-lovers resumes his journey the next day.

Tuesday, 1795-08-25

Haydn arrives in Dresden. There he wants to meet the composer Johann Gottlieb Naumann (b. 1741-04-17 Dresden-Blasewitz; d. 1801-10-23 ib.), but unfortunately he is not at home. As a substitute Haydn contents himself with looking at Naumann's portrait.

Sunday, 1795-08-30

Haydn arrives in Passau. The question of a performance of "The Seven words" is discussed in detail in the entry to 1794-01-21.


Wednesday, 1795-09-02

Haydn and Elßler arrive in Vienna. There is no written evidence about the exact date of arrival. We can only assume this date by calculating the route of his journey by coach very precisely.
Back in Vienna Haydn lives on "Neuer Markt 2 (Hoföbstlerisches Haus)".
For the summer holidays in Eisenstadt until 1803 Haydn takes up residence at
a) a guest apartment in the Franziskanerkloster which is only some steps away from his former house at present 21 Joseph-Haydn-Gasse. This residence is clearly documented by correspondence and the Esterházy accounting,
b) the Senger house (today Hauptstraße 38), far less plausible,
c) the Lichtenthal widow's house opposite the town hall (today Hauptstraße 36 or 40), far less plausible.
I only mention residences b) and c), because you will find them sometimes in Haydn literature which does not make it any better.


Friday, 1795-12-18

Haydn academy at "Kleiner Redoutensaal" [small ballroom] of the Vienna Hofburg with three London symphonies and Beethoven piano concerto No 2 in B flat major. Beethoven research also considers piano concerto No 1 in C major, but for various reasons discussed in detail prefers No 2.



Friday, 1796-03-26

Good Friday: Performance of passion music "The Seven Last Words" at Palais Schwarzenberg.

Saturday, 1796-03-27

Holy Saturday: Performance of passion music "The Seven Last Words" at Palais Schwarzenberg.


Sunday, 1796-09-11

Premiere of the Missa Sancti Bernardi von Offida, Hob. XXII:10 in B flat major in Eisenstadt. This mass starts the series of Haydn's last six big masses for the name day of Princess Maria Hermenegild. There are two alternatives for the name day, the Marian feast days "Birth of Maria" on September 8 or "Name of Maria" on September 12, depending on which day is a Sunday or the directly subsequent Sunday.
Moreover, the Habsburg empire commemorates the victory over the Turks at the gates of Vienna on the feast day "Name of Maria" on 1683-09-12.


Monday, 1796-12-26

Premiere[?] of the Missa in tempore belli "Paukenmesse" Hob. XXII:9 in C major in Vienna, Piaristenkirche Maria Treu. This is the only mass in the series of the last six masses which is not directly composed for the Esterházy court. The performance in Eisenstadt follows - most probably - on 1797-09-29 (s. 1797-09-10)


Wien Altes Burgtheater (Carl Postl ca. 1800-1810)
Vienna Altes Burgtheater (by Carl Postl c. 1800-1810)
© Vienna Museum


Tuesday, 1797-01-31

Birth of Franz Schubert in Himmelpfortgrund/Vienna (d. 1828-11-19 Wieden/Vienna)


Sunday, 1797-02-12

Premiere of the 'Volcks Lied' [National song] "Gott erhalte Franz, den Kaiser..." Hob. XXVIa:43 at Burgtheater and in all churches of Austria celebrating the 29th birthday of Emperor Franz II. Out of gratitude for this present Haydn receives a golden box with the Emperor's portrait and a considerable sum of money.
This song will accompany Haydn for the rest of his life and give him true consolation in his last years.


Sigismund (Chevalier de) Neukomm (b. 1778-07-10 Salzburg; d. 1858-04-03 Paris) with Michael Haydn's recommendation goes from Salzburg, where he already has been a pupil of the 'Salzburg' Haydn, to Vienna to Joseph Haydn and becomes his pupil and, later, his trusted friend. He stays in Vienna until 1804.
During this time he prepares piano scores of the two oratorios "The Creation" and "The Seasons" according to Haydn's wishes, with little success he revises parts of the oratorio "Il ritorno di Tobia", and composes arrangements of Scottish and other songs for Haydn.
In 1814, after years of neglect, Neukomm has a tomb erected for Joseph Haydn on the Hundsturm cemetery. The words of the Roman poet Horace "Non omnis moriar" ["I will not fully die"], which relate to the immortality of intellectual and artistic achievements, are put into an enigmatic canon. The citation by Horace is not at all ambiguous as sometimes wrongly alleged, but well known and common in learned circle of this time.


Sunday, 1797-09-10

Celebrating the name day of the Princess a new Mass by Johann Nepomuk Fuchs and a cantata by Haydn are performed (Landon CW 4, 259).
The performance of Mass Hob. XXII:9 is assumed by some researchers not to have taken place before 1797-09-29 in Eisenstadt. Since this day is Friday, there is little plausible reason for a 3-weeks delay after the name day of the Princess. We lack reliable sources here.


Sunday, 1797-10-01

Prince Nicolaus II increases Haydn's salary to 2700 fl

Saturday, 1797-10-07

Archduke Joseph Anton Johann Baptist von Österreich (b. 1776-03-09 Florence; d. 1847-01-13 Ofen), palatine of Hungary since 1796, visits Eisenstadt. This visit is reported in detail mentioning especially that the archduke wanted a quartet by Joseph Haydn to be performed.


Monday, 1797-12-11

In a festive celebration Haydn is admitted "Assessor senior" (honorary member) of the Vienna Tonkünstler-Societät.



Sunday, 1798-04-01

Palm Sunday: Performance of passion music "The Seven Last Words" for the Tonkünstler-Societät

Monday, 1798-04-02

Performance of passion music "The Seven Last Words" for the Tonkünstler-Societät

Palais Schwarzenberg Neumarkt Wien
Neumarkt in Vienna with Palais Schwarzenberg in the background
(by Carl Schütz and Johann Ziegler c. 1800)
Sunday, 1798-04-29

Public final rehearsal of the oratorio "Die Schöpfung" [The Creation]

Monday, 1798-04-30

Premiere of the oratorio "Die Schöpfung" Hob. XXI:2 with c. 150 participants in front of selected noble public, i.e. "Associierte Cavaliere" and their guests at Palais Schwarzenberg (Vienna, Neuer Markt 8). A letter between Princess Metternich and her husband shows the overwhelming effect of this performance for the attending members of the nobility.


Monday, 1798-05-07

Repeat performance of "Die Schöpfung" at Palais Schwarzenberg

Thursday, 1798-05-10

Repeat performance of "Die Schöpfung" at Palais Schwarzenberg


Wednesday, 1798-09-05

Haydn is admitted member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences and Arts in Stockholm

Sunday, 1798-09-23

Premiere of the Missa in angustiis "Nelsonmesse", Hob. XXII:11 in D minor in the "Bergkirche" which was united with the Schlosskirche in one parish. For a long time musicologists (i.e. Feder and Landon CW 4, 327) thought of the city parish church Eisenstadt, today St. Martin cathedral, as a venue. This is not plausible because the city parish was independent from the Princely Court.
The premiere has a two weeks delay to the name day of the Princess. Secretary Rosenbaum as a witness writes this in his diary, but it does not prove that an earlier performance should not have been possible.


Saturday, 1798-10-27

Joseph and Michael Haydn, who pays a visit to his brother in Vienna, attend a concert given by Beethoven at "Theater auf der Wieden"



Saturday, 1799-03-02

Haydn conducts a private performance of "Die Schöpfung" at Prince Schwarzenberg.

Monday, 1799-03-04

Haydn conducts a private performance of "Die Schöpfung" at Prince Schwarzenberg.

Friday, 1799-03-08

Performance of the cantata "Der Sturm" [The Tempest] Hob. XXIVa:8 at Palais Lobkowitz

Sunday, 1799-03-17

Performance of passion music "The Seven Last Words" in the presence of Emperor Franz II at the Tonkünstler-Societät

Monday, 1799-03-18

Performance of passion music "The Seven Last Words" at the Tonkünstler-Societät

Tuesday, 1799-03-19

Public premiere of "Die Schöpfung" at Burgtheater with c. 190 participants, the proceeds rise to a sum of 4088 fl 30 xr never known before in Vienna.

Wednesday, 1799-03-27

Haydn sends the first three "Erdödy" quartets Hob. III:75-77 to his publisher Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig.


Friday, 1799-04-01

Pleyel announces a complete edition of Haydn's works (Journal générale de la littérature de France, Avril, p. 94)

Friday, 1799-04-05

Haydn conducts symphony Hob. I:96.


Wednesday, 1799-06-12

Haydn to his biographer Griesinger: "Leider vermehren sich meine Geschäfte, wie sich meine Jahre vermehren..." [Unfortunately my businesses increase as well as my years...]


Sunday, 1799-09-08 or 15

Premiere of the Mass "Theresienmesse", Hob. XXII:12 in B flat major in Eisenstadt


Sunday, 1799-12-22

Benefit performance of "Die Schöpfung" with c. 200 participants by the Tonkünstler-Societät in the presence of the Emperor at Burgtheater




Saturday, 1800-03-08

Eve of the birthday of Archduke Joseph Anton, palatine of Hungary, in Ofen (Buda). His wife, archduchess and grand duchess Alexandra Pawlowna Romanowa (b. 1783-07-29 [jul.]/ 1783-08-09 [greg.] Saint Petersburg; d. 1801-03-16 Ofen) surprises him with the invitation of Haydn in the great hall of the royal castle for a performance of "The Creation".

Thursday, 1800-03-20

Death of Haydn's wife Maria Anna Theresia in Baden near Vienna, death record. The record is hard to read, hence a transcription:
"Stadt No 83, Haydn Anna Maria des Joseph von Haydn berühmten Kapelmeister et Doctor Musicae Gemahlin, kath., weibl., 70, Arthritis, [Begräbnis] 22 nachmittag, [lfd] No 28" [City No 83, Haydn Anna Maria wife of the famous Kapelmeister and doctor of music Joseph von Haydn, catholic, female, 70, arthritis, funeral on 22 afternoon, serial number No 28].

Saturday, 1800-03-22

Haydn goes to Baden to be present at the opening of will of his deceased wife.

Admiral Horatio Nelson
Admiral Horatio Nelson 1799
by Lemuel Francis Abbott


Saturday, 1800-09-06 until Tuesday, 1800-09-09

Visit of Admiral Nelson (rather: Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, 1st Baron Nelson, KB, b. 1758-09-29 Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk; d. 1805-10-21 Cape Trafalgar, Spain) and Lady Emma Hamilton (b. 1765-04-26 (?) Ness, Cheshire, bapt. 1765-05-12 Great Neston, Cheshire; d. 1815-01-15 Calais, France) with her husband Sir William Hamilton (b. 1730-12-13 Henley-on-Thames; d. 1803-04-06 London) in Eisenstadt. Encounter with Haydn. The programme includes four concerts, one of them the "Missa in Angustiis" Hob. XXII:11, hence the epithet "Nelson Mass". It is for Lord Nelson that Haydn composes the aria "Lines from the battle of the Nile” Hob. XXVIb:4. As a farewell present Haydn composes "The Spirit's Song" Hob. XXVIa:41 for Lady Hamilton.

Thursday, 1800-09-18

Performance of "Die Schöpfung" at the Leipzig University Church with "an orchestra of nearly 150 people to an audience of about 800 listeners" (AMZ, Vol. 3, col. 24)


Wednesday, 1800-12-24

Performance of "Die Schöpfung" at the Paris Opera House with c. 250 participants in the presence of Napoléon and Josephine, and also minister of police Joseph Fouché, Report in the AMZ.



Monday, 1801-01-05

Performance of "Die Schöpfung" at the Royal Opera House in Berlin, long report in the AMZ.


Friday, 1801-04-24

Premiere of Haydn's third and last oratorio "Die Jahreszeiten" [The Seasons] Hob. XXI:3 at Palais Schwarzenberg. It takes Haydn c. 15 months to compose the work, and he often complains about his exhaustion. Biographer Griesinger to publisher Härtel: "Haydn hat den Stein der Weisen, der auch aus Dreck Gold zu machen versteht." [Haydn has learned the secrets of the ancients, who knew how to make gold out of dirt]. This quotation alludes to the sometimes fierce quarrels between Haydn and librettist Gottfried van Swieten (b. 1733-10-29 Leiden; d. 1803-03-29 Vienna) on the libretto which in some cases seems rather awkward to Haydn.

Monday, 1801-04-27

Second performance of the oratorio "Die Jahreszeiten" Hob. XXI:3 at Palais Schwarzenberg


Friday, 1801-05-01

Third performance of the oratorio "Die Jahreszeiten" Hob. XXI:3 at Palais Schwarzenberg

Saturday, 1801-05-02

The Leipziger Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, Vol. 3, col. 575-579 publishes an enthusiastic critique on "Die Jahreszeiten".

Monday, 1801-05-04

Haydn is promoted honorary member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts "Felix Meritis" in Amsterdam.

Tuesday, 1801-05-05

Haydn begins to write a first version of his last will, this will take the rest of the year until 1801-12-06.

Sunday, 1801-05-24 and Monday, 1801-05-25

Performance of "Die Jahreszeiten" at the Viennese Court


Sunday, 1801-09-13

Premiere of the mass "Schöpfungsmesse", Hob. XXII:13 in B flat major in Eisenstadt. The epithet refers to the musical citation of the duet "Der tauende Morgen" taken from the oratorio "The Creation" which we find in the "Qui tollis" of this mass.


Monday, 1801-12-21

Benefit concert for public hospital St Marx with a performance of "Die Schöpfung". Proceeds of 8000 fl



Saturday, 1802-04-10

First performance of "Die Schöpfung" in Prague


During the summer Haydn lives at the parochial farm of Dornbach [today Vienna 17].


Friday, 1802-08-27

Death of Haydn's favourite sister Anna Maria in Rohrau, death record.

Eisenstadt Bergkirche
Eisenstadt Bergkirche


Wednesday, 1802-09-08

Premiere of the Mass "Harmoniemesse" Hob. XXII:14 in B flat major in Eisenstadt. The premiere directly on the name day of the Princess is unusual, because it is a Wednesday. But the Feast of Mary's Birth is a holiday in the catholic parts of the Austrian Empire. In the preceding years it is a rule to give the performance on one of the following Sundays. This premiere however like the performance the other day is documented in a note by Count Ludwig [Joseph Max] von Starhemberg (b. 1762-03-12 Paris; d. 1833-09-02 Dürnstein, Lower Austria).

Thursday, 1802-09-09

Performance of Mass Hob. XXII:14 in Eisenstadt.


Saturday, 1802-12-25

The "Institut National des Sciences et Arts" (Paris) promotes Haydn to an associated external member of the "Classe de Littérature et Beaux Arts"

Monday, 1802-12-27

Performance of "Die Schöpfung" in St. Petersburg. Proceeds of 20000 Rubel.



Saturday, 1803-05-10

Haydn is conferred the golden citizen's medal of the City of Vienna (Salvator Medal) for his benefit donations to the poorhouse and hospital of St Marx (until this date already 33169 fl) by Mayor Joseph Georg Hörl, City Treasurer Stephan Edler von Wohlleben and the president of the Citizen's Hospital Economy Commission Joseph Baptist Franz


During the summer Haydn lives at the parochial farm of Dornbach [today Vienna 17].


Monday, 1803-12-26

Haydn's last public appearance as conductor with the performance of "The Seven Last Words" at Vienna "Redoutensaal" [ballroom], on the same day one more benefit concert for the poorhouse of St Marx with proceeds of 3900 fl, of which sum 1000 fl are paid by Emperor Franz II.


Visit of Carl Maria von Weber (bapt. 1786-11-20 Eutin; d. 1826-06-05 London) at Haydn's in Gumpendorf. Weber's comment: "It is touching to see grown-up men coming to him, and how they call him Papa and kiss his hand."


Sunday, 1804-04-01

Easter: Haydn is made honorary citizen of the City of Vienna


Sunday, 1804-12-02

Coronation of Napoléon Bonaparte as "Emperor of the French"



Friday, 1805-05-10

Death of Haydn's brother Johann Evangelist


Tuesday, 1805-06-25

The "Conservatoire de Musique de Paris" admits Haydn as a member.

Eisenstadt Schloss
Eisenstadt Esterházy Castle


Sunday, 1805-09-15

French archtitect Jean Charles Alexandre de Moreau (b. 1758-12-08 Paris; d. 1840-11-03 Vienna) starts a magnificent reconstruction of the Eisenstadt Castle. De Moreau is appointed princely court architect by Prince Nikolaus II. The reconstruction lasts until 1815 because of the war against Napoléon and is considerably modified compared to the original plans.


Sunday, 1805-10-13

Visit of journalist and writer Carl Bertuch (b. 1777-12-27 Weimar; d. 1815-10-05 ib.) and Wolfgang Franz Xaver Mozart at Haydn's, accompanied by G.(?) and Medical Councillor Langermann from Bayreuth, Germany.


Wednesday, 1805-11-13

Invasion of the French Army in Vienna


Monday, 1805-12-02

Battle of Austerlitz



Monday, 1806-02-24

Visit of composer Luigi Cherubini (b. 1760-09-14 Florence; d. 1842-03-15 Paris) at Haydn's


Wednesday, 1806-04-02

Griesinger sends the unfinished quartet op. 103 Hob. III:83 to publisher Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig


Sunday, 1806-08-10

Death of Haydn's brother Johann Michael in Salzburg, death record



Sunday, 1807-09-13

Premiere of Beethoven's Mass in C major op. 86 on the name day of Princess Hermenegild in Eisenstadt under the composer's direction. Prince Nicolaus II asks Beethoven somewhat indignantly: "Alas, dear Beethoven, what on earth have you done again?" And later in a letter to Countess Henriette Zielinska: "Beethoven's Mass is unbearably ridiculous and detestable, and I am not convinced that it can ever be performed properly. I am angry and mortified." There is an anecdote spread by the Beethoven biographers Schindler and Thayer that Beethoven left Eisenstadt furiously, but newer Beethoven research doubts this, because Beethoven remains at least three more days in Eisenstadt. On the other hand, the rededication of the Mass for Prince Ferdinand Kinsky (b. 1781-12-04 Vienna; d. 1812-11-03 Weltrus), one of Beethoven great supporters, is definitely documented.


Wednesday, 1807-12-30

Visit of composer Johann Gänsbacher (b. 1778-05-08 Sterzing; d. 1844-07-13 Vienna) at Haydn's


Wien Aula Alte Universität Aula of the Old University (by Balthasar Wigand 1808)
© Vienna Museum
present state of the ceiling


Sunday, 1808-03-27

Gala performance of "Die Schöpfung" in the Aula of the Old University in Vienna. Haydn is in a carry chair, accompanied by the Rector of the University, Count Franz Herschan, together with Antonio Salieri (b. 1750-08-18 Legnago/Venice; d. 1825-05-07 Vienna), Beethoven and other famous composers. Writer and biographer Carpani reads an Italian sonnet written by himself, and Baroness Spielmann together with Madame Kurzböck read a German poem by Collin. Performers are among others Salieri as conductor, Conradin Kreutzer (b. 1780-11-22 Thalmühle; d. 1849-12-14 Riga) as pianist, Franz Clement first violin, Miss Fischer, Mr Weinmüller and Mr Radichi as singers, many choristers and at least 80 instrumentalists.
This performance is documented on a gouache painting by Balthasar Wigand (b. 1771 Vienna; d. 1846 Felixdorf) on the lid of a casket. For the celebration of Haydn's 100th death anniversary in 1909 a colour copy of this picture is made. The casket and the lid are "lost" after World War II, only a drawer remained and is kept in the Haydnhaus Eisenstadt.


Sunday, 1808-05-29

Letter announcing the award of an honorary medal to Haydn by the Philharmonic Society of St Petersburg


Visit of composer and music teacher Wenzel Johann Tomaschek (b. 1774-04-17 Skutsch/Bohemia; d. 1850-04-03 Prague) at Haydn's

Monday, 1808-07-25

Presentation of the honorary medal from St Petersburg by Prince Alexander Kurakin (b. 1752-01-18 Moskau; d. 1818-06-24 Weimar)


Visit of composer and music writer Johann Friedrich Reichardt (b. 1752-11-25 Königsberg; d. 1814-06-27 Giebichenstein/Halle) at Haydn's. Reichardt's comment: "To arrive at one of the remotest suburbs we had to drive almost an hour through back streets and corners."



Tuesday, 1809-02-07

Haydn makes a second version of his last will, his nephew Matthias Frö[h]lich being the universal heir, moreover sixteen relatives, six servants, 27 more people who are important for him, and six social and educational institutions are considered.


Wednesday, 1809-05-10 until Friday, 1809-05-12

Vienna is heavily bombarded by the French army. Haydn calms his servants exclaiming: "Kinder, fürchtet euch nicht; wo Haydn ist, kann euch kein Unglück treffen!" [Children, don't be afraid, for where Haydn is, nothing can happen] (Griesinger 91), or: "... wo Haydn ist, da kann nichts geschehen." (Dies 192), or: "Di che temete? Dov'è Haydn, nessun disastro può arrivare. Acchetatevi." (Carpani 262)

Wednesday, 1809-05-17

As one of the last foreign visitors French Captain Clément Sulemy comes to Haydn and sings the aria from "Die Schöpfung" "Mit Würd' und Hoheit angetan" (Griesinger 93-94). Dies (192-193) reports the same event with the difference that it should be the tenor aria from the second part of "Die Jahreszeiten" [it should be the cavatina No 15: "Dem Druck erlieget die Natur"]. Most later biographers follow Griesinger, but we cannot be sure. The encounter is a very emotional one as one might easily imagine.

Haydnpark Grabstein
Haydnpark tombstone
dedicated by Sigismund von Neukomm in 1814
present state © Invisigoth67
Friday, 1809-05-26

For the last time Haydn sits at his piano and plays his "Gott erhalte Franz, den Kaiser...".

Wednesday, 1809-05-31

Haydn dies between 0:40 and 1:00 in the morning in the presence of his valet Johann Elßler, who takes the death mask, and his housekeeper Anna Kremnitzer, death record.
Transcription: "31[.Mai 1809]; 73 [Hausnummer]; Der Wohledle Herr Joseph Haidn, Doctor der Tonkunst, des französischen Nationalinstituts der Wissenschaften und und Künste, dann königl. Schwedisch und der hiesigen musikalischen Gesellschaft Mitglied und Kapellmeister in wirklichen Diensten Sr. Durchlaucht des Herrn Fürsten v. Esterhazy; kath.; männl.; 79 Jr.; [Todesart] Entkräftung; d: 1. Juny begr.[aben]" [31; 73; the Hon Herr Joseph Haidn, doctor of music, member of the French national institute of sciences and arts and the Royal Swedish Musical Society as well as the Musical Society here, and Kapellmeister in real duties of His Serene Highness Prince Esterhazy; catholic; male; 79 years; exhaustion; buried on 1 June].


Thursday, 1809-06-01

Burial of Joseph Haydn at Hundsthurm cemetery (today: Haydnpark with memorial stone)

Friday, 1809-06-02

Requiem (by Michael Haydn) for Joseph Haydn in the Gumpendorf Church

Sunday, 1809-06-04

Esterházy secretary Carl Rosenbaum is an adherent of the neuroanatomist Franz Joseph Gall (b. 1758-03-09 Tiefenbronn near Pforzheim; d. 1828-08-22 Montrouge near Paris), the founder of phrenology. As a consequence Rosenbaum wants to find out the areas of Haydn's genius by examining the form of his skull. So he arranges a scandalous theft with three more persons and a bribed grave-digger by cutting Haydn's head off. The macabre outcome of this theft is that in 1820 Joseph Haydn is buried without his proper skull in Eisenstadt. After an odyssey of collector's passion and bureaucratic ignorance Haydn's skull is finally given to his bones only in 1954 in the Eisenstadt Bergkirche.
The mausoleum erected in 1932 contains the mortal remains of Joseph Haydn as united in 1954.

Wednesday, 1809-06-07

Short obituary on Joseph Haydn in the Wiener Zeitung

Thursday, 1809-06-15

Great Mass for Haydn „bei den Schotten“ [in the Schotten Church] (rather: Basilica "Unserer Lieben Frau zu den Schotten", Freyung 6, Vienna 1) with W.A. Mozart's Requiem. "The whole of Viennese society appeared" [Rosenbaum diary] and many French officers, artists and other French admirers of Haydn attended the service, as well as French writer Stendhal (rather: Marie-Henri Beyle, b. 1783-01-23 Grenoble; d. 1842-03-23 Paris)


Tuesday, 1809-08-15

To celebrate Napoléon's 40th birthday Haydn's "Te Deum" Hob. XXIIIc:2 is performed at St Stephen's in Vienna.


Saturday, 1809-09-09

Memorial celebration for Haydn in Berlin at the large hall of the Freemason's lodge Royale York, Letzte Straße 21 (old numbering, today: Dorotheenstraße 74, 10117 Berlin, corner of Neustädtische Kirchstraße)