October 6, 1785, Stadtilm, Thuringia.
March 23, 1869, Heckenbeck, Lower Saxony.
Methfessel began attending the Gymnasium in Rudolstadt in 1801, then studied theology and classical literature in Leipzig (1807–10). But as he realized his gift in music, with the financial support of the regent of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Caroline of Hesse-Homburg, he began studying voice in Dresden. From 1810–11 he was an opera singer at the court theater in Rudolstadt, and worked as a vocal and instrumental teacher. He knew Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and taught singing to Friedrich Schiller’s daughter Emilie.
Methfessel lived in Rudolstadt until 1816. In 1818, he published his Allgemeine Commers- und Liederbuch. Beginning in 1823, he taught music and conducted in Hamburg, and in 1823 founded the Hamburger Liedertafel. During this time he composed the Hamburg anthem Hammonia which was presented publicly on April 19, 1828, the five-year anniversary of the Hamburger Liedertafel. In 1832 he succeeded Gottlob Wiedebein as Kapellmeister at the opera house in Braunschweig. Hearing problems led to his retirement in 1841, and ended his professional creative period. Methfessel received an honorary Doctor of the Faculty of Arts from the University of Jena in 1865.
Methfessel’s burial place