Ritter, Frédérick [Frédéric, Frederick] Louis
- Katherine K. Preston
(b Strasbourg, France, June 22, 1834; d Antwerp, July 6, 1891). French choral conductor, composer, teacher, and writer, active in the United States. He began music studies at an early age in Strasbourg with H. M. Schletterer and M. Hauser, and at the age of 16 went to Paris to study with George Kastner. Returning to France, he was appointed professor of music at the Protestant Seminary of Fénéstrange. He moved to the USA in 1856 and settled near Cincinnati, where he actively promoted the cultivation of European music, in part by founding the Caecilia (choral) and Philharmonic (orchestral) Societies, both of which performed American premières of important works. He relocated to New York in 1861/2 and became conductor of the Sacred Harmonic (1862–70) and Arion Choral societies. In 1865 he married his second wife, Fanny Raymond (1830–90) an accomplished organist, singer, historian, lecturer, and writer on music. Frédérick organized and conducted the first large music festival in New York (...