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Johann Baptist Vanhal, originally Jan Křtitel Vaňhal (1739-1813) was a Czech composer of the classical period. Born on 12th May 1739 in Nechanice, Bohemia, to a Czech peasant family, Vanhal received his early training from a local musician, and went on to earn a living as a village organist and choirmaster. The Countess Schaffgotsch, who heard him playing the violin, took him to Vienna in 1760 where she arranged lessons in composition with Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf.
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