Carl Maria von Weber was a 19th century composer, critic, pianist, and conductor. His compositions span many genres including songs, piano music, opera, and orchestral works. Towards the end of his life he became one of the leaders of German opera and influenced composers such as Mendelssohn, Wagner, Berlioz, and Liszt.
Weber was born in Eutin, Germany in 1786, though his exact birthdate is unknown; even he wasn’t sure, but it was between the 18th and 20th of November. He celebrated it on different dates throughout his life. He was born into a long line of musicians. His father was a stadtmusicus and Kapellmeister and his mother a singer. Weber’s family moved very frequently, mostly due to his father’s career leading a theatre troupe. Weber’s father’s goal was to train him to be a child prodigy, the next Mozart, and taught him to sing and play piano from the time he could talk. Interestingly enough though, Weber was unable to walk until the age of four. In general, Weber was quite weak and sickly as a child. Weber continued lessons, in 1796 with Johann Peter Heuschkel, a local organist, oboist, and composer. From Heuschel, Weber learned piano and thoroughbass.