Jan Bedřich Kittl
Kittl, Jan Bedřich (1806-1868). Czech composer. In parallel with his early career in the legal profession he studied the piano and composition, the latter with Tomášek. Began to establish himself as a composer during the late 1830s; his Symphony in E-flat major Jagdsymphonie of 1837 gained considerable success abroad. In 1843 he was the surprise appointment for new Director of the Prague Conservatory. In this rôle, specifically as the director of the institute’s orchestral concerts, he contributed much to the positive development of the local musical environment, with the city becoming a more open and receptive centre for progressive music-making than was the case with neighbouring Vienna and Leipzig. Successful later compositions included the enormously popular opera Bianca und Giuseppe (1848) to a libretto by Wagner. He maintained a mutually beneficial relationship with the German Estates Theatre, had many private pupils and was also on the teaching staff of the local musical institute for women. His later years were plagued by ill health, financial disputes and alcoholism, and after being forced to resign from the Conservatory in 1865 he spent his last years in a minor teaching post in Prussia.