The New Student's Reference Work/Weber, Karl Maria von

Weber (vā'bẽr), Karl Maria von, a German composer, was born in Holstein, Dec. 18, 1786. He early showed the musical genius which he inherited from his father. By the time he was 14, he had already composed two operas, the second one, The Forest Maiden, being put on the stage. He held several positions, such as conductor of the opera at Breslau, musical instructor in the family of Duke Louis at Stuttgart, director of the opera at Prague and at Dresden and musical director to the king of Saxony. His work includes operas, symphonies and overtures for the piano, clarionet, oboe, bassoon and violoncello and a large number of songs, among them a series of national songs from Körner's Lyre and Sword, which roused the patriotic sentiment during the war of liberation. His best opera, Der Freischütz (The Archer), was produced in 1822 at Berlin, and created a great sensation throughout Europe, so that Charles Kemble asked him for an opera for the English stage. Oberon was written in answer to this request, and brought out under his own direction at London in 1826, where he was greeted with enthusiastic applause. He died while on this visit to England, June 5, 1826. Consult Life by his son, translated by Simson.