“the father of the symphony and the string quartet” – JOSEPH HAYDN. Among the three Viennese composers, his life was the longest and his output the most voluminous – 104 symphonies, instrumental concertos, 70 string quartets and many other chamber opuses, 52 piano sonatas, 24 operas, the oratorios The Creation and The Seasons. His rich biography is typical of a 17th century musician. His solo career began at the age of six as a singer in the church choir in Heinburg, then for nine years in the church of St. Paul. Stephen’s in Vienna, a thirty-year service as court Kapellmeister in the palace of the Hungarian princes Esterhazy. And it was not until after 1790 that the almost 60-year-old composer, one of the colossi of European musical history who left benchmarks in all genres, found a free creative path.
In 1791 Haydn received an invitation from the German violinist and impresario Johann Peter Salomon to visit England and conduct his symphonies with a large orchestra. The composer made two trips to London, in 1791-1792 and in 1794-1795. For the Zalomon Subscription Concerto cycles, Haydn composed his final, perfect 12 symphonies, which were met with phenomenal success by the huge audiences that gathered at his concerts. His popularity grew even more, he became financially independent, and Oxford University awarded him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.