Composer, Conductor. A gifted representative of German Baroque music. His style is notable for its imaginative scoring, strong melodies, and emotional directness. The cantata "Meine Seele rühmt und preist" (c. 1707) and the Mass in E Minor (1708) are probably his best known works. Hoffmann was born in Barenstein, Germany, and trained as a choirboy at the nearby Dresden Hofkapelle. In 1705 he succeeded Georg Philipp Telemann as organist and music director of Leipzig's Neukirche and Collegium Musicum, and later became conductor of the Leipzig Opera, for which he wrote several dramas. He went on a concert tour of England in 1710. The city of Leipzig granted him citizenship in 1714, a rare honor for a musician. Although he enjoyed considerable success during his lifetime, Hoffmann ended up as a rather tragic figure. Fate robbed him twice - through his death at 36, and through the loss of most of his music. Of the 70 opuses by Hoffmann that were catalogued in 1761, just over a dozen survive; these include cantatas, a sinfonia, 2 Magnificats, and a trio sonata, along with a few arias from his six operas. He was also unlucky enough to be overshadowed by Johann Sebastian Bach, his successor at Leipzig. In fact, for many years some of Hoffmann's compositions were mistakenly attributed to Bach, a tribute to their superior quality. Audiences are just beginning to rediscover this promising but sadly short-lived artist.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards