The Kennedy Center

Heinrich Finck


Heinrich Finck was born at Bamberg circa 1444. Very little is known of his childhood except that he was trained as a choirboy in Poland.  Around 1454 it is believed that he served in the chapel choir at Cracow.  He was educated in the court chapel at Warsaw and at Leipzig University.  His first jobs were positions where he was given appointments at the Polish courts between 1492–1506 and then at the Court of Württemberg at Stuttgart until 1514.  Later in his life, he lived in seclusion at the Scottish monastery in Vienna before taking work at Salzburg cathedral.
He was very successful for his day and spent most of his life working in the courts of the Polish kings.  He worked in the chapel of Prince Alexander of Lithuania, in Vilnius and in Kraków when Alexander became King of Poland in 1500.  He held job titles as a Singemeister of the ducal Kapelle in Stuttgart 1510-1514 and a Kapellmeister to Duke Ulrich of Stuttgart and was a household musician to Cardinal M. Lang in Mühldorf 1516-19 and after 1519 worked mainly as a composer to the Salzburg Cathedral chapter.
Very little of his music still exists except for a few masses, motets and motet cycles, hymns, songs and instrumental pieces. His creative body of works spans Medieval and Renaissance generations.  His early style sounds close to medieval, with its difficult yet pleasant to hear lines was founded in the first wave of German polyphony but his later works with their full textures show him to have incorporated the modern styles of music written in the style of renaissance artists.  His body of works consists of mostly half-songs and other vocal compositions clearly showing he had great musical talent and training that could hold up on its own merits amongst the early masters of the German school.
He died June 09, 1527 in Vienna, Austria.
Heinrich Finck