It's hard to think of composer who has had more influence on classical music than Joseph Haydn. Born in 1732 into a musical family in Austria, Haydn exhibited musical talent early on, and his parents sent him away to apprentice as a musician at the age of 6. Apart from being an incredibly talented composer, Haydn was pals with Mozart and a teacher of Beethoven. For a good part of his life, he lived in seclusion, composing works for the aristocratic Hungarian Esterhazy family on their remote estate. Being isolated from many of his contemporaries, Haydn managed to write entirely original pieces that were void of any discernible influences. He was one of the most prolific composers of the Classical Period, and is often called "The Father of the Symphony" or "The Father of the String Quartet."
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