Franz Anton Ries

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Franz Anton Ries
Signature Franz Anton Ries.PNG

Franz Anton Xaverius Ries (born November 10, 1755 in Bonn ; † November 1, 1846 there ) was a German violinist and orchestra conductor.


As a violinist, Ries was a student of his father Johann (1723–1784; member of the Electoral Cologne Chapel in Bonn since 1747) and Johann Peter Salomons . He was considered a child prodigy on his instrument and in 1774 got a job in the Bonn court orchestra. After returning from a study trip to Vienna, he was promoted to “first violinist” in 1779 and to “director of the electoral music” in 1791 (succeeding the sick Joseph Reicha ). He belonged to the court orchestra until it was dissolved in 1794 and then occasionally organized concerts with the musicians who remained in Bonn.

In 1785/86 he taught Ludwig van Beethoven to play the violin and remained on friendly terms with Beethoven.

He belonged to the Illuminati in Bonn and, after their dissolution, to the Bonn Reading Society . At the first Beethoven Festival in 1845, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bonn and was awarded the Red Eagle Order on the occasion of his 90th birthday .

He was a member of the Bonn Masonic Lodge, Les frères courageux, founded in 1805 .

Teacher of Ludwig van Beethoven and Johanna Kinkel

Franz Xaverius Ries lived in Bonn opposite Ludwig van Beethoven's birthplace with his grandfather in a house. He gave violin lessons to young Ludwig and eventually played with him in the court orchestra.

Another prominent pupil of Ries was Johanna Kinkel .


Franz Anton Ries was the father of Ferdinand and Hubert Ries , both also talented musicians.

The grave of Franz Anton Ries is in the old cemetery in Bonn .


  • Robert Eitner:  Ries, Franz . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 28, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1889, pp. 569-573.
  • Christoph Hust: Ries, Franz (Anton) . In: Music in the past and present. Second, revised edition , ed. by Ludwig Finscher, person part vol. 14, Kassel a. a. 2005, col. 84-85.
  • Josef Niesen : Bonn Personal Lexicon. 3rd, improved and enlarged edition. Bouvier, Bonn 2011, ISBN 978-3-416-03352-7 .