Joseph Hartmann Stuntz

Joseph Hartmann Stuntz was born in Arlesheim near Basel on July 23, 1793, and after receiving his first music lessons from his father, he composed a Te Deum for the Strasbourg Cathedral at the age of 14. He joined the Munich court orchestra in 1808 and studied with Peter von Winter, later also in Vienna with his teacher Antonio Salieri. From 1816 to 1818 Stuntz was Kapellmeister of the Italian Opera in Munich, and in the following years he composed several operas for the theaters in Venice, Milan and Turin. At the Teatro alla Scala, his opera La rappressaglia was so successful that he was awarded the title “maestro di cartello.” In 1823 Stuntz became Vice-Kapellmeister of the Munich Hofkapelle and in 1825 first Hofkapellmeister, succeeding Peter von Winter. As the “national composer and festive conductor” of Bavaria, Stuntz’s music was played at major inauguration ceremonies – for example, the opening of the Valhalla or the laying of the foundation stone of the Befreiungshalle and the unveiling of the Bavaria. He is also considered the founder of male choral singing in Munich. He died in Munich in 1859.

Photo credit: Etching by Joseph Hartmann Stuntz circa 1830. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Ausstellungskataloge, 38.