News for Hummel
- Hummel’s piano, Beethoven’s Hair
[posted 8 December 2010]
The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has received some interesting musical memorabilia: Hummel’s tiny practice piano (built in England in 1790), and a lock of Beethoven’s hair, as well as one of his quilt pens.
The forte-piano was donated to the WSO by Yvonne Hummel. She is a Winnipeg native who married the last member of the Hummel family. Currently Yvonne Hummel lives in Los Angeles. She has inherited a trailer-full of family history and decided a piece of it should stay in her hometown.
Other family heirlooms, including a lock of Beethoven's hair, clipped on his deathbed by Hummel's wife Elisabeth, are on loan to the WSO.
- Sheet music at NRML’s Muziekschatten (Music Treasures).
- List of compositions at Netherlands Radio Music Library.
- Concertos for Piano
- Septets for Piano, Winds & Strings
- Sonatas for Piano
- Trumpet concerto
Jan (Johann) Nepomuk Hummel, born in Bratislava (Pressburg) on November 14, 1778 was the son of Josef Hummel, Director of the Imperial School of Military Music and Conductor of the Theater Orchestra. Josef selected the violin as Jan’s first musical instrument, but this led to failure; the boy chose the pianoforte.
Jan immediately displayed a most remarkable ability and at age 7 when his father moved to Vienna, Mozart was so impressed with the child’s playing that he offered to give him music lessons. Hummel then lived with Mozart for 2 years and in spite of informal and irregular lessons, he made immense progress, and Mozart predicted a brilliant future for him.
At age 9, Hummel made his first appearance at a concert given by Mozart. So successful was this performance that his father decided to take the boy on a European tour a year later through Bohemia, Germany and Denmark which continued to progress through the British Isles and ended in London where the boy received instruction from Clementi. At age 10, he gave a concert at Oxford which included an original piano quartet. Hummel remained in London until the age of 14 and toured his way home to Vienna in 1793.
When he was 15 years of age, he devoted himself to study composition under the senior master Albrechtsberger and with the suggestion of Haydn sought dramatic compositional advice from Salieri. His performance tours took him into Russia.
At age 26, he accepted the revered post of Kappelmeister to Prince Esterhazy at Eisenstadt, formerly famed by Haydn. Hummel remained here until 1811. It was during this time that an unusual estrangement came between him and Beethoven. This circumstance remained throughout Beethoven’s lifetime, and it was not until Beethoven’s last days that the old misunderstanding faded away.
Hummel was dismissed from this post because of neglect of duties and then moved back to Vienna. His career then embraced a great deal of touring as a performer and also conductor through-out all of Europe and Russia. From 1819, he lived in Weimar where he was a close friend of Goethe and often performed at the poet
- sk.1.01, Bratislava, Klobučnícka 2 — 14 Nov 1778
- Germany, Weimar, Alter Friedhof — 17 Oct 1837