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Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda

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Jan Křtitel Václav Kalivoda (Johann Baptist Wenzel Kalliwoda in German) (February 21, 1801 – December 3, 1866), was a composer, conductor and violinist of Bohemian birth.

Kalivoda was born in Prague in 1801 and as early as 1811 started studying violin and composition at the Prague Conservatory. He made his debut as a violinist at the age of 14. Upon completion of his studies he became a member of the Prague Opera Orchestra. His diploma from the Conservatory read “Excellent player solo or in an orchestra…shows great talent in composition.” More prosperous tours as a violinist, for instance to Linz and Munich, followed.

Kalivoda lived what appears to have been a stable, hardworking musical life. For over forty years, from 1822 to 1865, he held the post of conductor on the court of Prince Karl Egon II of Fürstenberg and his successor in Donaueschingen (where the Danube begins in the Black Forest). His duties there included not only the writing of and care for the music of the court and church, of music for the church, but also the management and conducting of a choir, and annual musical journeys for education. These manifold responsibilities may have foreshortened his life. In any case, he went into retirement in 1865, and a year later he died, of a heart attack in Karlsruhe.

His son Wilhelm Kalliwoda (1827-1893) continued his father’s career, and worked as Kapellmeister for the Baden court in Karlsruhe, also composing (an Impromptu for piano was published as his opus 3 in Leipzig in 1854 ). During the 1850s he is mentioned by Alan Walker as a conductor at the Lower Rhine Festival.

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