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Franz Joseph Haydn also known as Francis Joseph Haydn - View Sheet Music for this Artist
Despite his celebrity, Joseph Haydn had humble beginnings as the son of a wheelwright and a cook. Luckily, there was a deep interest and love for music in the family, and a neighbouring teacher accepted the task of educating young Haydn. When he was 9 years old, he was taken as a choirboy into St. Stephen's in Vienna. It was from this early experience that would change his life. He learned the piano, singing, violin, and the art of composition.
However, having been thrown out of the choir at 16, as a result of natural voice changes and a reputation as a relentless prankster, Haydn was forced to “sing for his supper.” He continued singing for eight years at weddings, baptisms, and giving lessons. Haydn was happy, though only for a moment in 1760 when he married Anna Maria Keller. She proved to be the most “heartless, unsociable, and quarrelsome” woman he had ever met and they ultimately separated, never having had any children.
Haydn soon became the musical director for the wealthy Esterházy family and this position secured his financial and musical success for the next thirty years. In 1797, he wrote the music for the German National Anthem, Deutschlandlied. Haydn did not write it as an anthem though. He had been asked to provide music to Lorenz Leopold Haschka's poem “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser” (God preserve Francis the Emperor) in honor of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, and Archduke of Austria. The actual anthem (with Haydn's music and August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben's text) was the product of the 19th Century liberal national movement. Unbelievably, after almost 100 years of government and political unrest, and the reunification of Germany, it was decided in 1991 that the third verse of Deutschlandlied become Germany's official National Anthem.
Affectionately known to Mozart as “Papa Haydn”, Haydn was the ultimate musical influence in Europe after Bach and Händel’s popularity diminished. He succeeded in bringing a “fresh” face to the classical music genre and is hailed as the genius of such instrumental forms as the symphony, the sonata, and the string quartet.

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