Austrian wheelwright who was best known as the father of the renowned composers Joseph and Michael Haydn. His son, Michael Haydn, composed sacred choral works. Michael's brother, Joseph Haydn, was the more prolific and prominent composer of the two and composed symphonies, string quartets, and other classical works.
He studied his trade as an apprentice and spent 10 years as a journeyman before returning to his home village.
He was market judge of Rohrau from 1741 until 1761.
He and his wife, Maria Koller, had twelve children, only half of whom survived infancy. He had the pleasure of watching two of his sons grow up to be master composers. A lover of music himself, he played an important role in launching his sons' musical careers.
He was said by many to be poor, and even Ludwig van Beethoven allegedly remarked about the impoverished upbringing of his sons; historians, however, have disputed the truth of this claim.