Antonín REJCHA (also Anton REICHA)
(*26. 2. 1770 Prague — †28. 5. 1836 Paris)
Czech composer and theorist living abroad
At the age of 11, he was adopted by his uncle Josef Rejcha, a violoncellist in the band in Germany. He studied flute, violinist and piano. From 1785 to 1794, he worked with his uncle as flutist and violist in the Duke´s band in Bonn where he met Beethoven. He visited the University and studied the music theory of his time. He lived in Hamburg (1794-99), later in Paris (1799-1802) and Vienna (1802-08). He met with many famous musicians and he acquired favor of many musicians of the Court. He wrote more than 50 compositions. After a short stay in Leipzig, he returned to live in Paris (from 1808). From 1818, he became a teacher at the Conservatory and he blended into the French milieu. Hector Berlioz, Caesar Franck, Charles Gounod and privately Franz Liszt belonged to his pupils. He wrote many piano works i.e. important collection of 36 fugues, chamber compositions for different instruments (wind quintets are very known), several symphonies, concerts (also for the glass harmonica), songs, songs with orchestra and approximately 15 scenic works. Some of them were performed (i.e. L'Ouragan, about 1801 in Vienna, Argine, regina di Granata in Vienna (1802), Cagliostro in Paris (1810), Natalie, ou La Famille russe in Paris (1816), Sapho in Paris (1822). His theoretic works (about melodic, harmony, composing and drama) written between 1814-1833 have a great influence to the all generation of composers. They were edited in French and in German language; they were read also in Czech Lands.