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date: 17 November 2019

Knaebel, Simonlocked

  • Douglas W. Shadle


(b Baden, 1812; d Ossining, NY, c1880). American composer, arranger, horn player, violinist, cellist, and pianist of German origin. He immigrated to the United States in the mid-1830s and took up residence in Boston, where he became well known as an arranger for Ned Kendall’s Boston Brass Band. The noted African-American composer Justin Holland studied with Knaebel in the late 1830s. After a brief trip to Germany in 1840, Knaebel relocated to Brooklyn, New York, where he remained for most of his life. He joined the New York Philharmonic in 1842 as a charter member and violinist and occasionally performed french horn solos with the orchestra. His descriptive symphony commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, scored for two dueling orchestras, solidified his reputation as a serious local composer at its first performance in 1851. While touring the United States in 1854, the London-based French conductor Louis-Antoine Jullien refused to program the symphony due to its anti-British sentiment; Knaebel nevertheless played french horn in Jullien’s orchestra. During the Civil War, Knaebel conducted army band concerts in Brooklyn and directed the Brooklyn Amateur Musical Society. Throughout his career, he composed and arranged lighter works such as quick steps and waltzes....

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