Anton Diabelli (1781 – 1858) was born in Mattsee in Austria. During his seminary he got acquainted with the church music composer Michael Haydn, the brother of the famous Joseph. Haydn taught music in the convent and thus Diabelli decided to change his course in life.
Diabelli is best known because of his Austrian music publishing company Cappi and Diabelli that published many of the works of Franz Schubert. Additionally, Diabelli was a piano and guitar teacher who composed a moderate repertoire for piano solo, piano and guitar and guitar solo and duo. Much of Diabelli’s oeuvre was directed towards his pupils, many beginning pianist will remember Diabelli’s Sonatinas.
Diabelli’s music got known in a broader context when he organized a contest that required well-known composers of his day to write variations on a waltz composed by himself. Ludwig van Beethoven accepted this challenge with great aplomb and completely moulded the simple Diabelli theme in a grandioso concert work with his 33 variations in the Diabelli Variations Op. 120.