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Josef Hellmesberger (1955 - 1907)

Josef (Pepi) Hellmesberger Jr. was an Austrian composer, violinist and conductor. He was the second generation of Hellmesbergers to hold significant musical positions in Vienna, being the son of violinist and conductor Joseph Hellmesberger Sr. (1828-1893), who was his first teacher. Among his family of notable musicians include grandfather, Georg Sr. (1800-1873); uncle, Georg Jr. (1830-1852); and brother, Ferdinand (1863-1940).

In 1875 Joseph Hellmesberger Jr. became 2nd violinist in his father's Hellmesberger Quartet, succeeding him as a leader in 1887. In 1878 Hellmesberger became solo violinist of the Vienna Court Chapel and Professor at the Vienna Conservatorium. He became second Kapellmeister for ballets and concerts at the Vienna Court Opera, and first in 1900. From 1901 to 1903 he was principal conductor of the Wiener Philharmoniker. In 1904 and 1905 he was Kapellmeister at the Stuttgarter Hoftheater.

His compositions include 22 operettas, 6 ballets, dance music and Lieder.

Some of his polkas have appeared in recent years in the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day Concerts, making him one of the few non-Strauss composers to be represented in these concerts. 

Hellmesberger died in Vienna at age 52.

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