Gruber, Franz Xavier
Franz Xavier Gruber is an Austrian elementary school teacher and a church organist. The author of the music of the popular Christmas hymn "Quiet Night".
Gruber grew up in a poor family of weavers. In his youth he worked as a weaver, then began to take music lessons first with a local teacher, then with a church organist in Burghausen. In 1806 Gruber passed the exams and in 1807 became a school teacher in Arnsdorf. There he took up the post of a church watchman and an organist. In 1816 Gruber took the vacant place of the organist in the church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf.
In Oberndorf Gruber met Josef Mohr, a junior priest in the church of St. Nicholas. On December 24, 1818, Mor came to Gruber with the text of the "Quiet Night" and asked him to compose a Christmas hymn for two solo voices and a guitar. Gruber composed the music the same day and they together performed "Quiet Night" in the church of Oberndorf at the midnight mass.
In 1829 Gruber moved and took the place of a choral conductor, singer and organist at the parish church in Hallein, where he lived the rest of his life.
In 1989, composer's works catalog was published, it contains more than 60 mass, about 20 liturgical works and 35 songs. Franz Gruber and Josef Mohr were depicted on Austrian postage stamps in 1948 and 1987.