Zach, Max (Wilhelm)
- James M. Burk
(b Lemberg [now L'viv, Ukraine], Aug 31, 1864; d St. Louis, MO, Feb 3, 1921). American conductor and violist, trained in Austria. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory from 1880 to 1886 and also played violin in the Austrian Army. He then came to the USA, becoming the first violist in the Boston SO (1886–1907) and the viola player in the Adamowski Quartet (1889–1906). He conducted (with others) the Boston “pops” concerts from 1895 to 1902 and from 1905 to 1907. With Emil Mollenhauer, he conducted the Boston Band at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (1904). He was invited to become the conductor of the orchestra of the St. Louis Choral-Symphony Society in 1907 when it became a professional orchestra. During Zach’s first season the ensemble, renamed the St. Louis SO, increased in size from 52 to 64 players and was developed into a disciplined ensemble. Zach also increased the number of its subscription concerts. He was a masterly program builder and included many modern works in the orchestra’s concerts, among them 45 symphonic compositions by 26 American composers, and some American and world premières; he also presented the complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies in ...