The House of Kinsky

This entry in the series RISM A-Z brings us to Kinsky, a noble family that has a long history of ties to music.

If you say the name Kinsky today, fans of music history might first think of Ferdinand Johannes Nepomuk Joseph Fürst Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau, or Ferdinand von Kinsky (1781-1812) for short. He is famous for being one of Beethoven's most important sponsors – besides Joseph Franz Maximilian von Lobkowitz (1772-1816) and Archduke Rudolph of Austria (1788-1831). Due to the early and unexpected death of Ferdinand von Kinsky following a riding accident, payment of Beethoven's pension was however delayed.

It was especially thanks to the daughter-in-law of Ferdinand, Countess Wilhelmine Elisabeth von Colloredo-Mannsfeld (1804-1871), that the name Kinsky continued to have significance for music history. The RISM online catalog has over 250 records that have a connection to Wilhelmine Elisabeth, whether as dedicatee or previous owner.

But even in the eighteenth century, the private music ensembles of the House of Kinsky in Prague and Česká Kamenice were held in high esteem, which can be seen today by the sheer number of sources alone that are still extant. In the collection of the library of the National Museum in Prague (Knihovna Národního muzea, CZ-Pn), there are over 1,000 entries with the shelfmark "Kinsky."


Image: Coat of arms of the Kinsky family, via Wikimedia Commons

Category: RISM A-Z



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All news entries are by the RISM Central Office staff unless otherwise noted. Reuse of RISM's own texts is permitted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License—though please note that image credits and permissions are usually separate and noted at the bottom of each post. If authorship is attributed to someone else (indicated at the start of an entry and/or by a name following the word "Contact"), please contact the individual authors.