Franz Xaver Richter (1709 - 1789)
The son of a soldier in the service of Count Franz Anton von Rottal, Franz Xaver Richter’s career as a musician seems to have started by his appointment as a bass singer in the Stuttgart Court Chapel in 1736. This was followed, after a short period in the service of a nobleman, by service as director musices to the Benedictine Ritterakademie at Ettal. In 1740 he became vice-Kapellmeister to the Prince Abbot Anselm von Reichlin-Meldegg at Kempten, later to be promoted to the position of Kapellmeister. In 1746 he moved to join the musical establishment of the Elector Palatine at Mannheim as a singer and then as a composer. He was able to travel on concert tours and in 1769 became Kapellmeister at Strasbourg Cathedral.
Richter’s sacred music includes oratorios, with liturgical settings that include 34 Masses.
Richter wrote a quantity of symphonies, quartets and sonatas. In the first, largely written for Mannheim, he avoids some of the conventions of the Mannheim style, leading the way towards the approaching Classical style of such works.