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Heinrich Ignaz Biber

Heinrich von Biber was a Bohemian seventeenth century violin virtuoso and a prominent composer whose wildly experimental works were unknown until the twentieth century. Nurtured in the musically progressive court of the Count Karl of Liechtenstein-Castelcorno at Kromeríz, in 1684 Biber was named kapellmeister to the prince-bishopric of Salzburg and participated in composing the massive, 53-part Missa Salisburgensis (1682-1696) along with a number of other sacred works requiring extended forces. Biber's most famous pieces are his cycle of Mystery Sonatas (1676), solo violin sonatas that utilize special tunings for the instrument, and elements of collage and polytonality appear in his orchestral Battalia (1673).