Christian Cannabich

Johann Christian Bonaventura Innocent Cannabich ( baptized December 28, 1731 in Mannheim, † January 20, 1798 in Frankfurt am Main ) was a German violinist, conductor, composer and important representative of the Mannheim school.

Most commonly it is ( occasionally also Cannabich ) called Christian Cannabich. It counts with Johann Stamitz, his predecessor as chief conductor in Mannheim, one of the pioneers of Viennese Classicism and it was he who supervised the young Mozart during his one-year stay 1777/78 and discussed the development of German opera with him.


The most important son of the composer and flautist Martin Friedrich Cannabich (around 1700-1773 ) already performed with 12 years as a violinist in the famous Mannheim court orchestra under Johann Stamitz one, who became his teacher. He quickly rose to become concertmaster. Elector Karl Theodor of the Palatinate allowed him 1750-1753 studies in Italy, where he worked with Niccolò Jommelli. After the death of Stamitz 1757 he took over the position of Kapellmeister and became head of the at the time famous orchestra. The sons of his predecessor, Carl Stamitz and Anton were his pupils. As a representative of the younger generation Mannheim he had great influence on the later work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his contemporaries.

1759, he married Marie Elisabeth de la Motte, a chamber maid of the Duchess of Zweibrücken. About the contacts of the Duke of Zweibrücken Cannabich works have been performed in Paris in 1764; during this time he lived in the palace of the Duke. In 1766 he traveled to Paris for the second time and was given the opportunity to publish six symphonies and six trios. After 1766 most of his works in Paris were printed. In a further stay in the French capital, he appeared as a soloist with the Concert Spirituel in appearance.

After 1778 Elector Karl Theodor was appointed the Elector of Bavaria and had to move his residence to Munich, Cannabich also took over the direction of instrumental music in Munich. His house was always open for musicians. In addition to numerous other lived Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his house and gave Cannabich daughter piano lessons; He dedicated her sonata KV 309 In a letter to his father Mozart stated " I can not describe what a good friend Cannabich is for me." After 1790 Cannabich salary was reduced to one third, so he undertook several concert tours, to improve their income. He died in 1798 in Frankfurt am Main during a visit to his son, Carl, who was also a composer.


  • Around 90 symphonies
  • 40 ballets
  • Chamber music
  • 1 Opera
  • Elektra ( melodrama )