Haydn, one of the great creative artists of the eighteenth century, was born in humble circumstances. In this fascinating new biography, the author traces the rise of the composer from his early years through his long association with the Esterhazy family to his death in Vienna. The mood and atmosphere of the period is recreated by the use of contemporary reports and the recollections of Haydn's fellow musicians. Haydn's own letters and diaries lend added authenticity to the narrative. The book is profusely illustrated, mainly from contemporary engravings and paintings.