Johann Adam Hiller

Johann Adam Hiller ( born December 25, 1728 in Wendish Ossig (now Osiek Łużycki ) near Görlitz, † June 16, 1804 in Leipzig, until 1763 Huell ) was a German composer, musicologist and conductor.


Born in 1728, Johann Adam Hiller attended to 1745 the Gymnasium in Görlitz, learned piano and basso continuo at the Cross School in Dresden, went to Leipzig in 1751 and began from this time, a law degree from the University of Leipzig. In 1754 he became tutor to Count Heinrich von Brühl, with whom he again went to Leipzig in 1758.

In 1759 he founded the first German music magazine The musical pastime. In 1763, Hiller took over the tradition of 1743 by bookseller Johann Friedrich Gleditsch founded and since 1756 set as a result of the Seven Years' War Leipzig Great concert again.

From 1766 to 1770 he was the Weekly News, the music out on. Since 1771 Hiller led a singing school in Leipzig, emerged from the famous singers. Among his pupils were about Corona Schröter and Elisabeth Mara. In 1775, he founded the Musikübende company whose concerts then took place first in Leipzig Royalty, 1781 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. He was the first conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra.

1782 Hiller taught in Jelgava, the court orchestra of the Duke of Courland Peter a. On 19 May 1786, he organized the Berlin Cathedral, a performance of Messiah by George Frideric Handel. For this performance, and taking place at the University Church in Leipzig on 3 November of the same year in Leipzig premiere Hiller had made ​​some changes in performance practice, which should give the work a new impetus in the Handel renaissance. A year later, Hiller took similar measures for Handel's oratorio Judas Maccabaeus.

From 1789 to 1801 Hiller Thomas cantor of the St. Thomas School. Furthermore, Hiller was a time Director of Music at St. Thomas Church and organist at the New Church.

Hiller died 1804 in Leipzig. His son Friedrich Adam Hiller (1767-1812) was also a composer.


  • A theme of Hiller's musical comedy The Aerndtekranz forms the basis for the composition Variations and Fugue on a Theme of JA Hiller, the 1907 completed op 100 by Max Reger.
  • Hiller 1832 a monument was erected beside the Leipzig St. Thomas Church.
  • A posthumous tribute was Hiller on the occasion of 200th birthday in his hometown Wendish Ossig given. As part of the Sunday homily, Pastor Rochowski of the great son of the village. Subsequently, a Linde ( Linde Hiller ) was planted and dedicated a memorial stone.
  • On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the local music school Görlitz got this in 1986 awarded the epithet Johann Adam Hiller.
  • The musical comedy " The Oracle " from the text by Christian Fürchtegott Gellert was considered lost. The end of 2011 the full vocal score was discovered and saved at the last minute on the sorting belt to the shredder. He is now in the Thuringian Music Archive in Weimar.




  • Weekly News and Notes on the music. 4 volumes. Leipzig from 1766 to 1770. Reprint: Hildesheim 1970.
  • Biographies of famous music scholars and Musicians recent times. . Leipzig 1784 reprint: Edition Peters 1979.
  • Short and erleichtete statement to sing for schools in towns and villages. Leipzig 1792.
  • Instruction for violin playing, for schools, and to self lessons, together with a concise Lexicon of foreign words and names in music. Leipzig (?) 1792.


Johann Adam Hiller set to music a number of musical comedies, all according to librettos by Christian Felix Weisse, which are regarded as precursor of the German comic opera:

  • The oracle 1753 Text: Fear God Christian Gellert
  • The devil is going on 1766
  • The love in the country in 1768
  • The Hunt 1770
  • The Dorfbalbier 1771

He also wrote songs, cantatas and other sacred music.

  • Drey melodies We all believe in one God; two new and the old improved by Johann Adam Hiller. Adam Friedrich Böhme, Leipzig, 1790.


  • George Frideric Handel's Te Deum Laudamus formerly componirt of Utrecht Friedensfeyer in Engländischer language, and now with the familiar Latin texts published by Johann Adam Hiller. Leipzig, 1 IX. In 1780.