2nd March 1815
17th November 1888
Jakob Dontwas was an Austrian violinist, composer, and teacher. He was born and died in Vienna. His father Valentin Dont was a noted cellist. Jakob was a student of Josef Böhm (1795–1876) and of George Hellmesberger (1800–1873). When sixteen, he became a member of the Hofburgtheater-Orchesters and in 1834 entered service at the Wiener Hofkappele. During this time Dont appeared frequently as a soloist. Despite his success, he decided against a career as a soloist. In 1853 he became a professor at the Pädagogischen Institut Wien. From 1871, Dont was employed at the Wiener Konservatorium. He would eventually leave this post as the use of his own instructional compositions was forbidden. Dont's compositions are mainly limited to innovative teaching material. His 24 Etudes and Caprices Gradus ad parnassum Op. 35 and the 24 Exercises Preparatory to the Studies of R. Kreutzer and P. Rode Op. 37 are considered some of the most important technical studies for the violin. Among his students was Leopold Auer.