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Anton Fils

  • Birth 22 Sep 1733 Eichstaett, Eichstätter Landkreis, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
  • Death 14 Mar 1760 Mannheim, Mannheimer Stadtkreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • Burial Mannheim, Mannheimer Stadtkreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • Plot Site now Square K2, Mannheim
  • Memorial ID 87076477

Composer, Cellist. One of the most gifted members of the Mannheim School. German author Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart called him "the greatest composer of symphonies who ever lived", but he is better remembered today for the bizarre legend of his death. Johann Anton Fils was born in Eichstätt, Germany. His father was a cellist who probably gave him his first music lessons. In 1754 he was hired as a cellist for the Mannheim Orchestra and later studied composition with its director, Johann Stamitz. He kept the ensemble's repertory steadily supplied with new music and by 1759 had done well enough to marry and buy a house. According to numerous sources, Fils either had unique culinary tastes or a sophomoric sense of humor. He liked to eat live spiders, telling horrified onlookers they tasted just like fresh strawberries. One of his little snacks turned out to be poisonous and he died at 26. Most of his works were published posthumously, enjoying a particular vogue in Paris until the French Revolution. Fils is believed to have composed over 40 symphonies in his short career. The best known, the Symphony in G minor (1760), is a gutsy, impetuous take on the elegant Mannheim style, making his early demise all the more regrettable. He also wrote some 30 concertos (mostly for cello and flute), Masses, and trio sonatas.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 20 Mar 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 87076477
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Anton Fils (22 Sep 1733–14 Mar 1760), Find A Grave Memorial no. 87076477, citing Katholischen Friedhof (Defunct), Mannheim, Mannheimer Stadtkreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .