Violinist, composer, writer and music director, Wenzel Pichl, who had studied at the great University in Prague, was far better educated than most professional musicians of the period and it is hardly surprising that he and Dittersdorf became close friends. Pichl was assistant director of Ditters’ orchestra at Grosswardein and after the dissolution of the orchestra in 1769 he became music director for Count Ludwig Hartig in Prague. The following year, he was appointed first violinist of the Vienna court theatre where he was successful enough in the post for the Empress Maria Theresia to recommend his appointment as music director and Kammerdiener for the Austrian governor of Lombardy, Archduke Ferdinand d’Este, instead of the suggested Mozart. Pichl went to Italy in 1777 and remained there until 1796 when the French invasion of Lombardy caused him to return to Vienna. He continued in the Archduke’s service and dropped dead while performing a violin concerto in the Lobkowitz Palace in Vienna on 23 January 1805.

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