3rd February 1748
31st July 1816
Lochovice in Bohemia
Josef Fiala was a composer, oboist, viola da gamba virtuoso, cellist, and pedagogue.
He was born in Lochovice in Bohemia and began his professional career as an oboist in the service of Countess Netolicka. In 1777 he moved to Munich to serve in the court orchestra of Elector Maximilian Joseph. That year in Munich, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was greatly impressed by the wind band trained by Fiala, and helped Fiala secure a position in 1778 after the death of the Elector. In 1785 Fiala moved to Vienna, and in 1786 to Saint Petersburg where he worked in the court of Catherine the Great. In 1790 he moved to Prussia where he served as a viola da gamba player in the court of Friedrich Wilhelm II. Finally in 1792 he became Kapellmeister in Donaueschingen, where he spent the rest of his life.
Fiala wrote one concerto for viola da gamba, a concerto in B-flat maj for oboe and orchestra, various dances, chamber compositions and symphonies. A concerto for English horn (transcribed from a work originally for viola da gamba) was published in 1957 in Czechoslovakia.