FUX, Johann Joseph
b Hirtenfeld, Styria, 1660
d Vienna, 13 February 1741, aged eighty-one
He was born into a peasant family, but his early life is uncertain. In 1680 he entered the Jesuit University in Graz and in 1681 was admitted to a Jesuit residential school for musically gifted students. He later became employed by the Primate of Hungary, who also had a residence in Vienna. He enjoyed increasing imperial favour after Leopold I heard some of his masses, and held the post of organist at the Schottenkirche in Vienna from 1696 until 1702. He went to Rome in 1700 to study at the emperor's expense, and after the emperor's death he continued as court composer under Joseph I. In 1713 he became vice Kapellmeister to the court and Kapellmeister to Joseph's widow. Charles VI appointed him chief Kapellmeister in 1715, a post he occupied until his death. His career reached its summit in 1723 with the performance of his coronation opera, Costanza Fortezza. He wrote nineteen operas, many large and small sacred works, some instrumental works, and books on music such as his Gradus ad Parnassum (1725).