Johann Peter Pixis

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Johann Peter Pixis, engraving by August Kneisel after Cäcilie Brandt

Johann Peter Pixis (born February 10, 1788 in Mannheim , † December 22, 1874 in Baden-Baden ) was a German pianist and composer .


Johann Peter Pixis was the son of the Mannheim organist Friedrich Wilhelm Pixis (1755–1805) and brother of the violinist Friedrich Wilhelm Pixis . The two brothers received their first training from their father. Johann Peter Pixis first appeared in public in 1794 and went on concert tours with his three years older brother from the age of 9, from 1797 onwards. So the father made concert tours through Germany, Denmark, Russia and Poland with his two sons, then regarded as child prodigies.

Pixis was a pupil of Johann Georg Albrechtsberger in Vienna in 1807 and 1808 , where he came into contact with Ludwig van Beethoven , Giacomo Meyerbeer and Franz Schubert, among others . He stayed in Vienna with short interruptions until 1823, where he had tried in vain to make a career as an opera composer. In 1825 he moved to Paris , where he was a valued pianist and a sought-after chamber music partner. At the height of his career around 1830, Johann Peter Pixis was one of the most successful pianists of his time.

Frédéric Chopin dedicated his Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra on Polish Themes, Op. 8 , published in 1834 to him .

From 1840 he settled in Baden-Baden, largely withdrew from the public eye and taught his adopted daughter, the opera singer Francilla Pixis (1816–1888) and his nephew Theodor Pixis (1831–1856).

Pixis wrote memoirs of great musical history, including those of Ludwig van Beethoven .

Works (selection)


  • Almazinde or the Sesame Cave (Libretto: Heinrich Schmidt), romantic opera 3 acts (April 11, 1820 Vienna, Theater an der Wien)
  • The magic spell ( Georg von Hofmann after Carlo Gozzi ) romantic opera 2 acts (April 25, 1822 ibid)
  • Bibiana or Die Kapelle im Walde (Louis Lax based on a novella by Heinrich Cuno), romantic opera 3 acts (October 8, 1829 Aachen), 1830 Paris, Théâtre Italy; 1830 Prague


  • The language of the heart (Libretto: Johann Peter Lyser ), Operetta 1 act (January 15, 1836 Berlin)

Instrumental music

  • Concertino for piano and orchestra op.68 (Leipzig, 1826)
  • Piano Concerto in C major op.100 (Vienna, 1826)
  • Quatuor pour piano, violon, alto et violoncello op.4
  • Quintuor pour le piano-forte, violon, alto, violoncelle et contrebasse op.99
  • Grand Trio pour Pianoforte, Violon et Violoncelle op.75
  • Second Grand Trio pour Pianoforte, Violon et Violoncelle op.86
  • Troisième Grand Trio pour Pianoforte, Violon et Basse op.95
  • Quatrième Grand Trio pour Pianoforte, Violon et Violoncelle op.118
  • Cinquième Grand Trio pour Pianoforte, Violon et Violoncelle op.129
  • Sixième Grand Trio pour Pianoforte, Violon et Violoncelle op.139
  • Septième Grand Trio pour Pianoforte, Violon et Violoncelle op.147
  • Fantaisie militaire, for piano and orchestra op.121 (Leipzig, 1833)


  • From Joh. Peter Pixi's memoir. In: Richard Batka : Kranz. Collected sheets of music. Lauterbach & Kuhn, Leipzig 1903, pp. 86–110. (
  • Lucian Schiwietz: Johann Peter Pixis. Contributions to his biography, the reception historiography of his works and analysis of his sonata formation (= Europäische Hochschulschriften. Series 36: Musicology. Vol. 109), Lang, Frankfurt am Main et al. 1994, ISBN 3-631-47129-7 (also: Bonn, Universität , Dissertation, 1991).
  • Lucian Schiwietz: The eerily beautiful story of the robbers at Maria Kulm and the music-dramatic ambitions of a not-just-piano virtuoso. Johann Peter Pixi's romantic opera “Bibiana or the Chapel in the Forest”. In: Torsten Fuchs: The opera in Bohemia, Moravia and Sudeten Silesia. Report (= publications of the Sudeten German Music Institute. Reports. 4). Sudetendeutsches Musikinstitut, Regensburg 1996, ISBN 3-9803294-6-1 , pp. 80–84.
  • Christoph Kammertöns : Pixis. In: Music in the past and present. Person part vol. 13, ed. by Ludwig Finscher. Bärenreiter, Kassel et al. 2005, ISBN 3-7618-1133-0 , Sp. 652-654.

Individual evidence

  1. See Klaus Martin Kopitz , Rainer Cadenbach (Ed.) And a .: Beethoven from the point of view of his contemporaries in diaries, letters, poems and memories. Volume 2: Lachner - Zmeskall. Edited by the Beethoven Research Center at the Berlin University of the Arts. Henle, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-87328-120-2 , p. 639 f.

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