Czech composer, arranger, violinist and kapellmeister Georg Anton Benda was born in what is now Benátky nad Jizerou in Bohemia on 30 June 1722 into a family of musicians.
Benda worked for Frederick the Great in the chapel of Berlin, as a composer and arranger for his older brother Franz Benda, and as kapellmeister for the Duke of Gotha.
His most important contribution is in the development of the German melodrama, and he was commissioned by Abel Seyler to write several of these, including Ariadne auf Naxos - which is generally thought to be his best, Medea and Pygmalion.
Benda lived until 6 November 1795, when he died, aged seventy-three, at Köstritz in what is now Thuringia in Germany.
CD Spotlight. Recommended by Mozart - Georg Anton Benda's melodrama 'Medea', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Katharina Thalbach is overwhelmingly effective as the narrator, while Marcus Bosch's conducting is intensely committed, capturing all the seething complexities of love, betrayal and revenge, grappling in Medea's heart and mind, with electrifying exuberance.'