Hoffmann studied law and concurrently learned the organ with Podbielski. Between 1798 and 1799 he began his first compositions when studying with Reichardt. In 1804 he was able to have some of his works performed in Warsaw. When a civil servant, he yielded to the muse of music becoming a theatre conductor in Bamberg (1808) and the conductor of Skedona's troupe in Dresden (1813-14). By 1815 Hoffmann had re-entered the civil service in Berlin after composing several operas between 1801 and 1816. Hoffmann discovered that he had greater success at writing stories and reviews than at composition. Some of the titles of his operas included "Scherz, List und Rache," "Der Renegat," "Julius Sabina," and his best opera "Undine." Musically he extended the German Singspiel by increasing the scope of the chorus and gave a larger responsibility to the chorus. Other genres in which he worked included ballet, symphony, overture, quintet for harp and strings, piano sonatas, and a Mass. His literary works were his greatest contribution to the artistic world and was responsible for inventing "Johannes Kreisler the Kapellmeister" who was a character that inspired Schumann's "Kreileriana." Hoffmann received accolades from Beethoven, Carlyle, Schumann and Weber and his admiration for Mozart caused him the change his Christian name to include Amadeus. The fictional characters he develped also had an influence upon Offenbach and Wagner.
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