Franz Wilhelm Abt (1819-1885) was a German composer and choral conductor. Abt was born at Eilenburg in Prussian Saxony, and showed musical talent at an early age. His father was a clergyman and a talented pianist, and it is he who gave Franz his earliest instruction in music. While in school, Abt became friends with Albert Lortzing, Felix Mendelssohn, and Robert Schumann. He composed roughly 3000 individual works mostly in the area of vocal music. Several of his songs were at one time universally sung, and have obtained a more or less permanent place in the popular repertory. During his lifetime, Abt was a renowned choral conductor and he spent much of the last three decades of his life working as a guest conductor with choirs throughout Europe and in the United States.