XVIII century

Johann Hoffmann

Giovanni Hoffmann, sometimes called “Johann” by German chroniclers (although this name is not authentic), is a shadowy figure from the last decades of the eighteenth century.  He was apparently one of the top virtuosi of his day upon the mandolin. Nothing is known about Giovanni Hoffmann, the man. The style of these concertos suggests a composition date of the 1770s or 1780s. It was common for non-Italian musicians to take an Italian first name, leading most German scholars to assume that his real name was “Johann” and that he was either Austrian or German, as no account of him has been found outside of Vienna.
Nonetheless, there was a prominent family of musicians originating in Bohemia named “Hoffmann” who were well-known in the Age of Enlightenment, so without more information it is impossible to discount the notion that this “Giovanni Hoffmann” may have been among their number.

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