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Franz Benda

Franz (František) Benda Staré Benatky, 1708 – Potsdam, 1786 Bohemian composer, violinist. Franz Benda learnt how to play the violin and at the age of ten he joined the choir of the St. Nicholas Church in Prague. As of 1733 he pursued further studies of the violin in Dresden. He worked as chapel master in Vienna and Warsaw, however, he was the most successful as a violinist. Owing to his excellent, virtuoso performance on the violin, he was invited to the court orchestra of Frederick the Great, of which he was a member until his death. In fact, in 1770 he was appointed leader of the orchestra. During the years in the Prussian court,  he composed around 140 sonatas for violin, the violin parts of which could also be played by the flute, with the aim obviously being that these pieces could be performed by the ruler too, who was known to love playing the flute.