Composers, Patrons and the Public in the 18th and 19th Centuries WEA Sydney

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Print this page Composers, Patrons and the Public in the 18th and 19th Centuries

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The changing relationship between composers, patrons, and the public, during the later 18th and 19th centuries, is fascinating to explore. This course will focus on the careers and music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, and Fauré. Each composer had a very different relationship with patrons and public, and this can be seen in the works that they wrote for specific occasions and events. Haydn’s successful, long-lasting relationship with the Esterházy family was singular, whereas Mozart had a more complex relationship with his patrons, as did Beethoven, while Rossini and Fauré were more concerned with pleasing the public than individual patrons.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Haydn: Works for the Esterházy family – the Nicolaimesse, symphonies, chamber music – the incorporation of Eastern European elements in some works as tribute to the Esterházy family
  • Mozart: The early symphonies, the church music, and stage works written for the archbishops of Salzburg – Vienna and the Emperors Joseph II and Leopold II
  • Beethoven: The archbishop of Cologne and his Viennese patrons
  • Rossini: The string sonatas, the songs, the solo piano works – the public in Italy and France
  • Fauré: Composing for the École Niedermeyer in Paris and the Church of the Madeleine, Paris


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Distinguish the major differences between the careers of these five composers and the ways that these differences helped to shape their works
  2. Appreciate the achievement of each composer in pleasing the varied demands of patrons and public
  3. Discuss some of ideas and ideals which inspired the composers, and the changing social conditions which impacted their lives
  4. Outline the different stylistic traits of the music heard