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(1763 - 1845)

Born in the Bavarian town of Mendorf, near Ingolstadt, in 1763, Simon Mayr was the son of a schoolteacher and showed some early ability as a musician. He was a pupil at the Jesuit College in Ingolstadt before entering the university to study theology. He continued to demonstrate great musical versatility, but his training as a musician only began in earnest in 1787, when a patron took him to Italy. There, from 1789, he studied with Carlo Lenzi, maestro di cappella of the Bergamo Basilica of Sta Maria Maggiore. There followed, through the generosity of another patron, a period of study with Bertoni in Venice. His early commissioned compositions were largely in the form of sacred oratorios, but in 1794 his opera Saffo was staged in Venice. His turning to opera owed much to the encouragement he received from Piccinni and Peter von Winter; other operas followed for Venice, then for La Scala, Milan and other Italian theatres, with an increasingly large number of performances abroad. In 1802 he followed Lenzi as maestro di cappella at Sta Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, establishing a free music school three years later. Mayr held these positions until his death in 1845. As a teacher he won the particular respect of his pupil Donizetti. He did much to promote the knowledge of the Viennese Classical composers Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven in Italy. His own style reflects something of this, but essentially in an Italian context. He was, needless to say, immensely prolific as a composer: he had nearly 70 operas to his credit by 1824, and some 600 sacred works.


Mayr’s operas started with his Saffo ossia I riti d’Apollo Leucadio in Venice in 1795. His L’amor coniugale, based on the same original French drama as Beethoven’s Fidelio, was first staged in Padua in 1805.


Mayr’s cantatas include occasional works, such as L’Armonia, written for a visit by the Emperor to Bergamo in 1825 and his 1827 Cantata on the Death of Beethoven. His oratorio David in spelunca Engaddi (‘David in the Cave of Adullam’) was first heard in Venice in 1795.

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
MAYR, G.S.: Medea in Corinto [Opera] (D. Rodriguez, Spyres, R. Lorenzi, E. Scala, M. Marcu, Cauteruccio, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia, F. Luisi) Dynamic
MAYR, J.H.: Lodoiska (La) [Opera] (Petrou) Oehms Classics
MAYR, J.S.: Arianna a Nasso [Cantata] (Horak, T.M. Allen, Simon Mayr Choir, Ingolstadt Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Sacred
MAYR, J.S.: Concerto Bergamasco / Keyboard Concerto in C Major / Trio Concertante (Bavarian Classical Players, Hauk) Naxos
MAYR, J.S.: David in spelunca Engaddi (David in the Cave of Engedi) [Oratorio] (Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Sacred
MAYR, J.S.: Demetrio [Opera] (Agudin) Oehms Classics
MAYR, J.S.: Ginevra di Scozia [Opera seria] (Papatanasiu, Hinterdobler, Bonitatibus, S. Irányi, Munich Radio Orchestra, Petrou) Oehms Classics
MAYR, J.S.: Iacob a Labano fugiens [Oratorio] (Simon Mayr Choir and Ensemble, Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Sacred
MAYR, J.S.: Innalzamento al trono del giovane re Gioas [Oratorio] (Brown, Frey, Sellier, Burkhart, Simon Mayr Choir and Ensemble, Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Sacred
MAYR, J.S.: Keyboard Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Overture from Sisara (Barbareschi, Orchestra da Camera dell'Etruria, Ciardi) Tactus
Concertos, Orchestral
MAYR, J.S.: Medea in Corinto (Bavarian State Opera, 2010) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) Arthaus Musik
Opera DVD
MAYR, J.S.: Medea in Corinto (Bavarian State Opera, 2010) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
Opera DVD
MAYR, J.S.: Medea in Corinto [Opera] (Stern) Oehms Classics
MAYR, J.S.: Saffo [Opera] (A.L. Brown, M. Schäfer, Jaewon Yun, Bavarian State Opera Chorus, Simon Mayr Choir, Concerto de Bassus, Hauk) Naxos
MAYR, J.S.: Sagrifizio di Jefte (Il) [Oratorio] (Bassenz, Iranyi, Sellier, Kupfer, Simon Mayr Choir and Ensemble, Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Sacred
MAYR, J.S.: Samuele [Oratorio] (A.L. Brown, Bernhard, Trost, Hamann, Simon Mayr Choir, Ingolstadt Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Hauk) Naxos
MAYR, J.S.: Sogno di Partenope (Il) [Cantata Opera] (Munich State Opera Chorus, Simon Mayr Choir and Ensemble, Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Secular
MAYR, J.S.: Tobia, o Tobiae matrimonium [Oratorio] (Simon Mayr Choir and Ensemble, Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Sacred
MAYR, S.: Fedra [Opera] (Chiaudani) Oehms Classics
MAYR, S.: Te Deum / MOZART, W.A.: Missa solemnis (Simon Mayr Choir, Ingolstadt Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Sacred
MAYR: Amor coniugale (L') Naxos
MAYR: L'Armonia / Cantata sopra la morte di Beethoven Naxos
Choral - Secular
MAYR: Stabat Mater No. 3 Dynamic
Choral - Sacred
PAER, F.: Santo Sepolcro (Il) (The Holy Sepulchre) [Oratorio] (Simon Mayr Choir and Ensemble, Hauk) Naxos
Choral - Sacred

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