Hiller, Ferdinand (von)
- Reinhold Sietz
- , revised by Matthias Wiegandt
(b Frankfurt, Oct 24, 1811; d Cologne, May 11, 1885). German conductor, composer and teacher. He was the son of a wealthy Jewish merchant and revealed an outstanding talent for music at a very early age. His principal piano teacher was Alois Schmitt, in his day one of Frankfurt's most discriminating pianists. When he was ten Hiller played a concerto by Mozart at a public concert. Several important artists showed an interest in him, among them Spohr, Speyer, Moscheles and Mendelssohn who became Hiller's closest friend and on whose recommendation he went to Weimar to become one of Hummel's pupils (1825–7). During his stay there he met Goethe, played in concerts at court and at Goethe's home and composed various pieces of incidental music for the Weimar theatres and society. He also accompanied Hummel to Vienna to visit Beethoven on his deathbed. After returning to Frankfurt he continued to study and compose and made occasional concert tours. In ...