Franz Joseph Haydn was born on 31 March 1732 to wheelwright and enthusiastic folk musician Mathias Haydn in Rohrau. He usually called himself simply Joseph Haydn.
(1738-1740) At the age of 6, Haydn leaves his parents and Rohrau, to live in Hainburg with the local choirmaster J.M.Frankh. He plays harpsichord, violin and sings treble parts in the church choir.
(1740-1749) Haydn moves to Vienna with G. von Reutter, director of music of St.Stephen's Cathedral. He is instructed in voice, violin, harpsichord and Latin, but not in music theory and composition.
(1745) Michael Haydn, the brother of Joseph, reaches his brother in Vienna to work as choirboy at St.Stephen's Cathedral.
(1749-1752) Haydn can't sing high choral parts any longer and is dismissed. He works at many jobs from music teacher to street serenader.
(1752-1757) Haydn becomes valet–accompanist of the great Italian composer Nicola Porpora, who will be his teacher in composition. Probably he meets young Dittersdorf from whom he learns the advanced art of violin playing. He studies Fux and C.P.E.Bach. In 1756 he works for Baron Fürnberg and writes his first string quartets.
(1757-1761) Haydn becomes Kapellmeister of Count Morzin. He writes his first symphonies. In 1760 Haydn marries Maria Anna Theresia Keller.
(1761-1809) Dismissed by Count Morzin, Haydn becomes Vice-Kapellmeister of Prince Paul Anton Esterházy and in 1762 of his successor Prince Nikolaus I. In 1766 Haydn becomes Kapellmeister, working mainly in Eisenstadt and Esterháza. His music production is huge.
(1779) A new contract with the Esterházy family allows to Haydn to manage the private publishing of his own works with much more freedom. This situation will make Haydn one of the most well known composers of his time in Europe. Since 1776 he is also responsible for Esterházy opera production and starts producing operas by his friend Dittersdorf or written by himself.
(1785) Haydn becomes a Freemason. In 1784 he had met his friend Mozart in Vienna, Mozart who was already a friend of his brother Michael in Salzburg. Haydn writes the 6 Paris Symphonies. Pleyel, already a pupil of Vanhal, is his pupil and is a distinguished composer in Strasbourg.
(1790-1792)(1794-1795) Haydn, already well known in England thanks to J.C.Bach and Abel, reaches London for a Grand Tour in 2 parts. He writes the 12 London Symphonies. In 1790, in Bonn, he meets young Beethoven, who becomes his pupil. When in Vienna Haydn purchases a house there and starts working on it.
(1795-1809) After London Grand Tour, Haydn starts working again for the Esterházy family with Prince Nikolaus II. He lives in Vienna and in summer in Eisenstadt, where he meets the father of Franz Liszt, who works for the Esterházy. He writes the 2 oratorios: The Creation (1798), The Seasons (1801). He is friend of composer P.Wranitzky.
Since 1803 his health is declining. He is Esterházy Kapellmeister until his death. In 1804 Hummel, his own pupil and pupil of Mozart, is his Konzertmeister. In May 1809 after the French bombardments against Vienna, French cavalry salutes him singing an aria from The Creation. 31 May 1809 Haydn dies.