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KNECHT, Justin Heinrich

Biberach an der Riss 1752 - Biberach 1817

Justinus or Justin Heinrich Knecht (30 September 1752 – 1 December 1817) was a German composer, organist, and music theorist.

He was born in Biberach an der Riss, where he learnt to play the organ, keyboard, violin, and singing. He attended a Lutheran collegiate institution in Esslingen am Neckar from 1768 to 1771, when he became Lutheran preceptor and music director in Biberach, which was a free imperial city until 1803, and had a rich cultural life. He became organist of St Martin's church in 1792, which was used simultaneously by Lutherans and Catholics.

He led an energetic, busy musical life; he composed for the theatre and church, organised subscription concerts, and taught music theory, acoustics, aesthetics, composition, and instruments at the Gymnasium, which was affiliated to the Musikschule in 1806. He went to Stuttgart in December 1806 in the hopes of a post there as Kapellmeister or similar, but after being appointed Direktor beim Orchester by the King of Württemberg in April 1807, he returned in 1808 to his former life in Biberach where he remained for the rest of his life.

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