The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Benda, Franz

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BENDA, Franz, German violinist: b. Jungbunzlau Bohemia, 1709; d. Potsdam, 1786. He exhibited, while a boy, a great desire to learn the violin which he could gratify in no other way than by joining a band of strolling musicians. He found means, however, to acquire an extraordinary mastery of the instrument, and in 1732 entered the service of Frederick the Great, then prince-royal, with whom he remained the rest of his long life. He founded a school of violinists, whose method of playing was entirely original and quite effective. He also published some excellent solos for the violin.