Franz Xaver Gruber

Franz Xaver Gruber

Unterzeilberg, Schärding Bezirk, Upper Austria (Oberösterreich), Austria
Death 6 Jul 1863 (aged 75)
Hallein, Hallein Bezirk, Salzburg, Austria
Burial Niederarnsdorf, Salzburg-Umgebung Bezirk, Salzburg, Austria
Plot Near museum entrance
Memorial ID 8225678 · View Source
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Songwriter, Composer. He was the composer of the now-Christmas season classic song "Silent Night". He was serving as church organist in the alpine village of Oberndorf, Austria, when he collaborated with local priest Josef Mohr to create what has been called the "world's most beloved carol." According to legend, on Christmas Eve 1818 the organ at St. Nikolaus Church had broken down, and the two men worked feverishly to come up with a simple hymn that could be played on guitar. In reality, Father Mohr had written a poem entitled "Stille Nacht" two years earlier, and had asked his friend Gruber to set it to music. As the priest was an excellent guitarist, Gruber composed the now-familiar melody in an arrangement for two voices and guitar. "Stille Nacht" was first sung by its creators at Midnight Mass on December 24, 1818 with Mohr providing the instrumental accompaniment. Considered a national treasure in Austria, the carol became popular throughout Europe in various translations, and was introduced to America on Christmas Eve 1839, when a touring Austrian choir performed it before the tomb of Alexander Hamilton in New York City's Trinity Churchyard. Its composer had been born into a long line of weavers in Hochburg, Austria, but had defied family tradition by studying music. Thrice married and the father of a dozen children, Gruber's first two wives predeceased him. After his death at age 75, he was buried in the church cemetery of Maria am Moesl in Hallein, Austria, where he had been choir director for 30 years. When the cemetery was later moved, his remians were left undisturbed to lie in close proximity to his former living quarters, now the Franz Xaver Gruber Museum.

Bio by: Nikita Barlow


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Nikita Barlow
  • Added: 31 Dec 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8225678
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Franz Xaver Gruber (25 Nov 1787–6 Jul 1863), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8225678, citing Gruber Museum, Niederarnsdorf, Salzburg-Umgebung Bezirk, Salzburg, Austria ; Maintained by Find A Grave .