Bruch, Max (Christian Friedrich)
- Christopher Fifield
(b Cologne, Jan 6, 1838; d Friedenau, Berlin, Oct 2, 1920). German composer. The son of a police official, Bruch received his first musical education from his mother, herself a singer. He began to compose from the age of nine; a Septet, written when he was 11, bears early hallmarks of his future style and assured scoring. At 14 he won the coveted Frankfurt Mozart-Stiftung Prize, which enabled him to study with Hiller, Reinecke, and Ferdinand Breunung. His first substantial work was an opera based on Goethe’s Scherz, List und Rache, written and performed in Cologne in 1858 (no orchestrated version survives), after which his teachers encouraged him to travel throughout Germany. He went to Leipzig, a city where musical life was still dominated by Mendelssohn’s influence, but settled in Mannheim between 1862 and 1864. There he wrote two works which would bring his name before the German public, the opera ...