Johann Nepomuk Hummel, a German composer, born in Presburg, Hungary, Nov. 17, 1778, died at Weimar, Oct. 17,1837. At seven years of age he showed so much talent that Mozart assumed the direction of his musical studies. Later he received lessons in harmony, accompaniment, and counterpoint from Albrechts-berger, and valuable suggestions from Salieri. In 1803 he entered the service of Prince Esterhazy, and composed his first mass, which won the approval of Haydn. From 1811 to 1816 he taught at Vienna, and after that was successively chapelmaster to the king of Wtirtem-burg and the grand duke of Saxe-Weimar. He made many tours through Germany, France, Great Britain, and Russia, winning renown as a pianist. He excelled as a pianist, improvisator, and composer. His improvisations were remarkable for their originality and brilliancy, and were so carefully worked out as to have all the character of finished compositions. He took high rank as a composer, but it was unfortunate for his reputation that he was the contemporary of Beethoven, by whose genius he was overshadowed. He composed for the stage, the church, and the concert room. His compositions of the first class consist of operas, pantomimes, and ballets; of the second, of three masses for voice, organ, and orchestra.
The third class is the most numerous, consisting of concerted pieces for various instruments, trios, quartets, quintets, and septets, with many works for the piano alone. He wrote also a complete pianoforte method, which in spite of its many merits has been superseded by later works in stricter relation to the requirements of modern art.