born in February 1748 in Lochowitz (Lochovice), Stredoceský kraj, Czechia
died on 31/7/1816 in Donaueschingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Josef Fiala (Joseph Fiala) (3 February 1748 – 31 July 1816), was a composer, oboist, viola da gamba virtuoso, cellist, and pedagogue.
He was born in Lochovice in Bohemia and began his professional career as an oboist in the service of Countess Netolicka. In 1777 he moved to Munich to serve in the court orchestra of Elector Maximilian Joseph. That year in Munich, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was greatly impressed by the wind band trained by Fiala, and helped Fiala secure a position in 1778 after the death of the Elector. In 1785 Fiala moved to Vienna, and in 1786 to Saint Petersburg where he worked in the court of Catherine the Great. In 1790 he moved to Prussia where he served as a viola da gamba player in the court of Friedrich Wilhelm II. Finally in 1792 he became Kapellmeister in Donaueschingen, where he spent the rest of his life.
Fiala wrote one concerto for viola da gamba, a concerto in B-flat maj for oboe and orchestra, various dances, chamber compositions and symphonies. A concerto for English horn (transcribed from a work originally for viola da gamba) was published in 1957 in Czechoslovakia.
During Josef Fiala's tenure in the court of Friedrich Wilhelm II, The king honored Josef by giving him his own family crest, which still exists today.
The heritage of this particular Fiala family stems back to Bohemia (currently the Czech Republic), which at the time of Stefan Antoni Fiala was concurrently moved to Poland. Bohemia was a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire and subsequently a province in the Habsburgs’ Austrian Empire. As Prague was the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire at that time, it is believed that one of the Habsburg members of the Royal family made a decree and named a small rural street after Josef Fiala's family name (Fialova), due to the services of Josef Fiala as Kapellmeister. This street can still be found today, outside the city of Prague.
From the late 19th century to the early 20th century the balance of the family was primarily living in Poland, with future generations moving to the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Černušák, Gracián; Štědroň, Bohumír; Nováček, Zdenko, eds. (1963). Československý hudební slovník I. A-L (in Czech). Prague: Státní hudební vydavatelství. p. 311.