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Hofmann was the son of a highly educated civil servant, and at the age of seven became a chorister in the chapel of the Empress Elisabeth Christine, where his choral director and teacher was very likely František Tůma.
In 1758 Hofmann secured what may have been his first appointment, as "musicus" at St. Michael's. He is known to have become choral director at St. Peter's Church in 1764 and, in 1766, kapellmeister. In 1769 he became a teacher to the royal family.
The position of Kapellmeister at the Cathedral of St. Stephan, a post he acquired in 1772, was among his next responsibilities. At this time he declined the directorship of the Imperial Chapel, but did apply there two years later in 1774, failing in his application. (Giuseppe Bonno became director of the Imperial Chapel instead, which had become open upon the death of Florian Leopold Gassmann.)
On 9 May 1791, at his own request, Mozart was appointed assistant-Kapellmeister to Hofmann, an unpaid position. At the time Hofmann was ill and Mozart anticipated becoming Kapellmeister upon Hofmann's death. However, Hofmann survived Mozart and kept his post as Cathedral Kapellmeister until he died.
The following list was drawn up by George Cook Kimball in his Ph.D. thesis.
Kimball A 1 \ Symphony in A major
Kimball D 1 \ Sinfonia pastorella in D major
The following list was drawn up by Allan Badley in his Ph.D. thesis.
Badley I:A 1 \ Harpsichord Concerto in A major
Badley II:A1 \ Flute Concerto in A major
Badley III:C1 \ Oboe Concerto in C major
Badley IV:C1 \ Bassoon Concerto in C major
Badley V:C1 \ Cello Concerto in C major
Badley VI:A1 \ Violin Concerto in A major
Badley VIII:A1 \ Concertino for violin, viola & cello in A major
- A mass a cappella (republished with masses by Wagenseil and Georg Reutter by A-R Editions in 2004)
- Duos and sonatas for various instruments, including a divertimento for flute and bassoon, one for 2 violins with continuo, one for two violas with bass. His opus 1 is a set of sonatas a tre for viola and violoncello with cello accompaniment.
- Choral music
- Motet "Altra nocte"
- "Pastor bone : chorus pastoralis" for mixed choir, concertante organ, two violins and bass (2 oboes, 2 trumpets and drums probably added later).
- Missa "Sancti Aloysii" in D major
- Requiem in C minor
(Recent recordings of his music include recordings of many of the concertos, some of the symphonies including five on Naxos Records, etc., including a CD from 2000 of Artaria discoveries and others of cello flute, violin and oboe concertos.)
His compositions have been catalogued by Allan Badley.
- H.C. Robbins Landon. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Volledig overzicht van zijn leven en werk Tirion Uitgevers BV Baarn, 2005.
- Kimball, George Cook. The Symphonies of Leopold Hofmann (1738–1793) Thesis (Ph.D.) Columbia University, 1985.
- Badley, Allan. The concertos of Leopold Hofmann (1738–1793) Thesis. (University of Auckland.)
- "About the Concerto Badley II:D1". Artaria Editions. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- Eisen, Cliff. Kimball, George Cook. and Monk, Dennis C. Three symphonies / Franz Asplmayr ; edited by Dennis C. Monk. Four symphonies, them. index D7, E♭1, D1, D2 / Leopold Hofmann ; edited by G. Cook Kimball. Three symphonies, them. index 23, 18, 25 / Wenzel Pichl ; introduction by Richard J. Agee ; thematic index compiled by Anita Zakin. Salzburg. Part 1. The Symphony in Salzburg: Volume 1. New York: Garland, 1984. ISBN 0-8240-3854-1.
- Kreiner, Viktor. Leopold Hofmann als Sinfoniker (1738–1793). Thesis (doctoral) Universität Wien, 1958.
- Umble, Kathryn Thomas. A transcription and stylistic analysis of Leopold Hoffmann's Flute Concerto in G Thesis (Ph.D.) Bowling Green State University, 1985.
- Badley, Allan: Leopold Hofmann (1738-1793). Sechs Konzerte für Tasteninstrument (Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich, Band 161). Wien, Hollitzer, 2019 ISBN 978-3-99012-538-0 (in german and english language).