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The bulk of Hofmann’s compositions are thought to date from the period 1758-1778, during which time he composed some 60 solo concertos, for flute, violin, cello and keyboard. Many of the manuscripts appear in the Thurn und Taxis collection at Regensberg as well as being known in Vienna, Hamburg and Budapest. Hofmann’s music is typical of the time, but is well above average in quality and the best of it compares well with that of better known contemporaries. Naxos have championed several recordings of Hofmann’s flute, oboe, violin and cello concertos, also some symphonies.
A successful contemporary of Haydn, Hofmann came second only to him for the number of works listed in the Breitkopf Catalogue. A civil servant’s son, Hofmann became a chorister in the Empress Elisabeth Christine’s chapel when 7 years old. He studied keyboard and composition at the chapel with Wagenseil and had a few posts before becoming keyboard teacher to the Imperial family in 1769. Hofmann became Kapellmeister at St. Stephen’s Cathedral from 1772 until his death, despite seeking advancements which were rejected mainly on political grounds. Leopold is not related to E.T.A. Hofmann (1776-1822).