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Kossmaly, Carllocked

  • Cecelia H. Porter

(b Breslau [now Wrocław, Poland], July 27, 1812; d Stettin [now Szczecin, Poland], Dec 1, 1893). German conductor, music critic and composer. Kossmaly’s writings reveal much about 19th-century German musical life and intellectual history. He studied in Berlin (1828–30) with Mendelssohn’s teachers Ludwig Berger and C.F. Zelter, and also with Bernhard Klein. From 1838 to 1849 he was music director at opera houses in Wiesbaden, Mainz, Amsterdam, Bremen, Detmold, and Stettin, where he settled and became a highly respected teacher and orchestra conductor. In 1837 Schumann invited Kossmaly to report on music in Frankfurt and Holland for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik; in 1839 he moved to Leipzig, continuing to contribute profusely to the journal. Schumann, who published some of his lieder there, commended his reviews for their practical musicianship and philosophical depth. Kossmaly’s review of Schumann’s piano works (AMZ, xlvi (1844), 1–5, 17–21, 33–7; trans. in R.L. Todd, ed.: Schumann and his World (Princeton, 1994), 303–16) was the first substantial appraisal of the composer in a German journal. Schumann appointed Kossmaly his successor as editor of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik in 1841. An original member of Schumann’s anti-philistine Davidsbund, Kossmaly campaigned for the New Romantics’ subjective view of art, opposing the pro-Wagner New German realists. He also contributed to the AMZ, the Neue Berliner Musik Zeitung and the Stettiner Zeitung. He wrote books on Mozart’s operas (1848) and programmatic music (1858), as well as the Schlesisches Tonkünstlerlexikon (1846–7). His compositions include symphonies, overtures and other works.


  • A. Schering: ‘Aus der Geschichte der musikalischen Kritik in Deutschland’, Jb der Musikbibliothek Peters, 35 (1929), 9–23
  • I. Fellinger: Verzeichnis der Musikzeitschriften des 19. Jahrhunderts (Regensburg, 1968)
  • C.H. Porter: ‘The Rheinlieder Critics’, MQ, 63 (1977), 74–98
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