From Königsberg to Bamberg

Biographic Overview


1776 Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann is born in Königsberg (East Prussia) on January 24th as the son of a lawyer of the palace court

1781  Hoffmann attends the reformed Burgschule and is given lessons in piano, violin, singing, as well as composition

1792  law student in Königsberg and, in addition to that, artistic activities 

1795  final university exams (first state exam) and work in the administration

1796  moves to Glogau

1798  gets engaged with his cousin Minna Doerffer

         second state examination in law

         transfer to Berlin

         lessons in composition from Johann Friedrich Reichardt

1799  composition of the ballad opera Die Maske ( The Masque)

1800  third state examination in law

        Occupation as a fully qualified lawyer at the high court in the city of Posen (today Poland, at that time Prussian)

1802 Hoffmann draws caricatures of well-known persons and, because of that, gets a disciplinary transfer to the town Plock; he breaks up the engagement with Minna Doerffer and marries Maria Thekla Michalina Roher – Trcinska („Mischa“)

1803  First publication of a literary work: Schreiben eines Klostergeistlichen an seinen Freund in der Hauptstadt (Letter from a monk to his friend in the capital)

1804  Transfer to Warsaw as a senior civil servant

       composition of the ballad opera Die lustigen Musikanten (The Merry Musicians) – on the musical score his altered third name – Amadeus ( on account of his adoration of Mozart) – appears the first time. Hoffmann draws further caricatures

1805  birth of his daughter Cäcilia who dies in 1807

         Co-founder of Warsaw‘s „Musikalische Gesellschaft“ – a musical society

1806  compostion of the e-flat major-sinfonia which he conducts in Warsaw in the palace Mniszekschen Palais

         French troops invade Warsaw

         Hoffmann loses his occupation as a senior civil servant because of his refusal to swear his oath of office to Napoleon

1807  Hoffman moves to Berlin

         unsuccessful attempts to start a career in music

         material deprivation and illness

1808  Appointment as musical director at the theatre „Königlich privilegierte Schaubühne“ in Bamberg

         Opera-scandal and dismissal as musical director

1809  work at the theater

         teaching music and singing lessons to make a living

         working as a composer and author

1811  secret love to 13 year old singing student Julia Mark

1813  signing a contract with the Bamberg publisher Kunz for the “Fantasiestücke in Callot´s Manier” (Fantastic pieces in Callot’s manner)

         offer of an occupation as musical director in Dresden and Leipzig

         departure from Bamberg