SÜSSMAYR Franz Xaver
SÜSSMAYR Franz Xaver (born 22 July 1766 in Schwanenstadt, died September 17 1803 in Vienna) was an Austrian composer, the son of a sacristan and teacher. His mother died when he was 6, and he left home at 13. He was a student and cantor in a Benedictine monastery (1779-1787) in Kremsmünster. When his voice changed, he became a member of the orchestra as a violinist.
The abbey performed operas and Singspiele, so he had the opportunity to study the operas of Gluck and Antonio Salieri. He composed a number of stage works and a good deal of church music for the abbey. He became (after 1787) a student of Salieri in Vienna. In 1792 he also became the vice-director and composer at the Kärntnertortheater.
He assisted Mozart as a copyist with La clemenza di Tito and Die Zauberflöte in 1791, as well as completing Mozart's Requiem. Their relationship seems to have been close and playful.
For many years he was also thought to have been a student of Mozart, but there is reason to think that the notion of such a relationship was concocted by Mozart's wife Konstanze in order to legitimise his completion of Mozart's Requiem. During Mozart's last days, it is possible that they discussed his Requiem, and Süßmayr took on the task of completing the piece upon his death and did so, turning it over to Konstanze within 100 days of Mozart's death. Though criticised by some as un-Mozartian, Süßmayr's version of the score is most often played, although several alternative versions have been written.