Composer, violinist, and Austrian theoretician. It was part of the choirs of St. Ulrich and the Church of Santa Cruz in Augsburg, his hometown. In 1737 he enrolled at the University of Salzburg and a year later earned the degree of Bachelor of philosophy. Shortly after it was rejected from this Center for its lack of attendance at classes and decided to dedicate himself to music. Thus, in 1740 was violinist and valet de chambre of the count of Thurn-Valsassina and Taxis, who dedicated his first work, six Church and Chamber sonatas. Later, he was violinist in the chapel of the Archbishop of Salzburg (1743), violinist and composer of the Court and of the Chamber (1757) and maestro di cappella (1763). In 1747 he married Anna Maria Pertl, with whom he had seven children, of which only Maria Anna (Nannerl) and Wolfgang Amadeus survived.
In 1756, the year of the birth of his son, he published a method of violin based on his experiences as a teacher and that constitutes one of the basic theoretical writings of his time. At the same time began to collaborate in the work Historischkritische Beyträge zur Aufnahme der Musik, Marpung. Author of illustrated salzburgesa tradition, was also very famous as a composer of Church and instrumental works. Most of their time devoted to the formation of his two sons from 1760. Discovered the talents of children, in particular that of Wolfgang, started to happen journeys: between 1763 and 1766, the family made a long journey through Western Europe; then, he went on three occasions with his son by Italy. After already not leave Salzburg, except on rare occasions: in 1774 he went to Munich to attend the performance of opera buffa La finta giardiniera, and his son Wolfgang Amadeus in 1781 to Idomeneo, Re di Creta.
The excellent relations that linked him to his son were altered by the marriage of this collapsed against her will. After the death of his wife Anne Marie and Wolfgang will be installed in Vienna, it did not return to exit Salzburg, dedicated to their official positions. Then he surrounded by a group of students, some of whom lived in his house.
Marc Honegger, dictionary of music. (Madrid: Espasa Calpe, Second Edition, 1993).
History of classical music. (Madrid: Planeta, 1983).
Ulrich Michels, Atlas de la Música. (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1992).