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Johann Nepomuk Hummel

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Johann Nepomuk Hummel or Jan Nepomuk Hummel (14 November 1778 – 17 October 1837) was a composer and virtuoso pianist of Austrian origin who was born in Bratislava (present-day Slovakia). His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era.

Hummel was born in Pressburg (also known as Pozsony, in what was then Hungary but is now Bratislava), Slovakia. His father, Josef Hummel, was the director of the Imperial School of Military Music and the conductor of the Theater Orchestra. In Vienna Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart offered the boy music lessons at the age of eight after being impressed with his ability. Hummel was taught and housed by Mozart for two years free of charge and made his first concert appearance at the age of nine, at one of Mozart’s concerts.

Hummel’s father then led him on a European tour, arriving in London, where he received instruction from Muzio Clementi and stayed for four years before returning to Vienna. In 1791, Joseph Haydn, who was in London at the same time as young Hummel, composed a sonata in A flat for Hummel, who played its premiere in the Hanover Square Rooms in Haydn’s presence. When Hummel finished, Haydn reportedly thanked the young man and gave him a guinea.

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