Myslivecek, Josef

Mysliveček, Josef


Born Mar. 9, 1737, in Prague; died Feb. 4, 1781, in Rome. Czech composer and conductor. Member of the Bologna Philharmonic Academy (1771).

Mysliveček studied in Prague, where he wrote his first symphonies (1762). In 1763 he settled in Italy. His first opera, Medea, was staged in Parma in 1764. Mysliveček received wide acclaim for his opera Bellerofonte, produced in Naples in 1767. In 1770, while living in Bologna, he met the young Mozart, who immediately formed a high opinion of his music; Mozart and he remained friends for many years.

Mysliveček composed about 30 operas, which were performed with enormous success between 1767 and 1780 in a number of Italian cities as well as in Prague and Vienna. In these operas he continued the tradition of Italian opera seria. His best operas include Hypermnestra, Il Gran Tamerlano, Montezuma, Ezio, Olimpiade, Armida, and Il Medonte, Re di Epiro. Mysliveček also wrote oratorios, including Abramo ed Isacco; symphonies; overtures; several concerti for string instruments and orchestra, as well as for string ensembles; trio sonatas; and music for the harpsichord. Mysliveček’s music, which shows strong Italian influences, was also inspired by the Czech folk song. As a conductor, he helped acquaint the musical public with the operas of C. W. Gluck.


Belza, I. F. Ocherki razvitiia cheshskoi muzykal’noi klassiki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951. Pages 82–89.
Belza, I. F. Istoriia cheshskoi muzykal’noi kul’tury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1959. Pages 285–306.
Shaginian, M. Iozef Myslivechek, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
čeleda, J. Josef Mysliveček Prague, 1946. (Includes bibilographic index.)