(b Berlin, Nov 3, 1781; d Berlin, Sept 6, 1831). German composer . A lawyer by profession, he studied music in his youth with J.A. Gürrlich and at the Singakademie with K.F.C. Fasch. He was a founder-member of Zelter's Liedertafel (1808), and with Hinrich Lichtenstein was one of Weber's circle of Berlin friends. His music was on the whole modest in aim, consisting chiefly of songs, choruses and some chamber music for strings; but he also wrote a three-act opera Die Alpenhirten to a libretto by H.W. Loess, a work in Singspiel manner which Max Maria von Weber described as ‘Romantic through and through’. It had some success at its Berlin première on 19 February 1811; however, when Weber gave it in Prague in 1815 (with Caroline Brandt as Betty), it was considered too long and after the first performance (7 May) was cut by five numbers, still leaving the public cold. Weber also praised Wollank's Trio for piano, violin and viola, and dedicated six male-voice songs to him. In ...
(b Vienna, Jan 18, 1795; d Vienna, June 16, 1852). Austrian cellist and composer. He made a promising start on the violin, but an injury from a dog bite to his left arm forced him to switch to the cello. After one year’s study with Schindlöcker he entered the service of a Hungarian nobleman as a quartet cellist. Two years later he began a five-year solo tour throughout the Habsburg Empire. Upon returning to Vienna in 1818 he became solo cellist at the Hofoper, subsequently joining the Hofkappelle. The most important Viennese cellist of the post-Beethoven era, Merk performed with Mayseder and Bocklet in the second Viennese performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in 1830. In 1834 he and Mayseder were appointed Kammervirtuosen. He was on friendly terms with Schubert, the dedicatee of his op.11 Exercices, and with Chopin, who wrote the Polonaise Brillante op.3 for him. From 1822 to 1848...
revised by Elisabeth Schmiedel
(b Berlin, Oct 3, 1828; d Berlin, Feb 23, 1897). German composer and conductor. He was the son of Adolph Bargiel, a Berlin music teacher, and his wife Mariane (née Tromlitz) Wieck, who had divorced Friedrich Wieck in 1824 and was the mother of Clara Wieck (Schumann). He learnt the piano, violin and harmony from his father, and was a chorister and solo alto of what was later the cathedral choir. From 1846 to 1850 he studied, on the advice of his brother-in-law Schumann, at the Leipzig Conservatory, where his teachers included Moscheles and Plaidy (piano), David and Joachim (violin), Hauptmann, Richter, Rietz and Gade (theory and composition). Returning to Berlin he developed a reputation as a teacher and composer, and in 1859 became teacher of theory at the Cologne Conservatory. He was Kapellmeister and director of the institute of the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Toonkunst at Rotterdam from ...
(b Salzungen, Saxe-Meiningen, Feb 18, 1771; d Meiningen, Aug 14, 1834). German violinist, keyboard player and composer, brother of Christian Friedrich Ruppe. In 1786, when his father died and Salzungen was devastated by fire, he left to study theology at Eisenach and supported himself by giving keyboard lessons. Half a year later he came under the patronage of Duke Georg I of Saxe-Meiningen, who provided for his education in music theory and violin playing, as well as in public finance (in Jena). After further studies in Weimar, Dessau and Wörlitz he was appointed both an administrator and a musician at the court in 1798; he gave piano concerts and played the violin in the orchestra. His compositions, which were not well known outside Meiningen, include Leiden und Tod Jesu and Der verlorene Sohn (oratorios), Der Sieg der Tugend (unfinished opera), Friedenscantate (1814), a keyboard concerto with choir and various chamber works, of which a trio for piano, clarinet and bassoon (Offenbach, ...
Marcia J. Citron
(b Stuttgart, Dec 9, 1796; d Stuttgart, Aug 1, 1857). German composer, pianist, singer and teacher . The youngest of seven children born to the composer Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg, she studied the piano with Schlick and theory with Wilhelm Sutor. Gifted with a fine alto voice, she was soon singing and performing on the piano (e.g. at the Stuttgart Museumskonzerte). As an adult Zumsteeg mixed with leading musicians and poets. The literary ties reflected her interest in the lied, which formed the basis of her creative reputation. She also wrote several piano works, such as the early Trois polonaises, published in 1821 and favourably reviewed in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, and sacred choral music. She occupied a central position in the musical life of Stuttgart as a teacher of voice and piano and as a leading member of the Verein für Klassische Kirchenmusik.
Zumsteeg’s lieder were still known in the late 19th century (Michaelis) but have not remained in the repertory. She composed about 60 songs. The six lieder of her op.6 received a brief but laudatory notice in the ...
Philip E.J. Robinson
revised by Michael Heinemann
(b Kunersdorf, nr Wriezen, July 23, 1773; d Berlin, Nov 24, 1838). German organist and composer. He studied the piano and violin at Wriezen, and taught himself the piano, organ and numerous other instruments while at school in Berlin (1786–9). From 1789 to 1812 he was a partner in the Steiner paint factory at Berlin, but continued his musical studies with J.A. Gürrlich and G.A. Schneider. In 1793 he joined the Sing-Akademie, which he conducted with K.F. Rungenhagen from 1803 in Zelter’s absences; from 1815 to 1833 he was joint deputy conductor. He was one of the first members in 1809 of Zelter’s Liedertafel, for which he wrote 25 partsongs, and on 20 August 1813 he was appointed organist of Berlin Cathedral and singing master at the Joachimsthal School. He became director of music at the cathedral in 1815.
Hellwig wrote two operas, one of which, ...
(b Algund, nr Merano, March 7, 1769; d Brixen [Bressanone], Feb 20, 1851). Austrian composer, brother of Ignace Antoine Ladurner. He studied with his uncle at the monastery of Benediktbeuern, became organist at Algund in 1784, and attended the Lyceum Gregorianum at Munich where he studied theology and philosophy until 1798. He also had piano lessons and received instruction in composition and counterpoint from the Hofclaviermeister Josef Graetz. He became a priest in 1799, and held various positions at the prince-bishop’s consistory at Brixen, including those of court chaplain from 1802 and councillor from 1816. Although he was not a professional musician, he directed choirs, gave piano lessons and participated in the activities of music societies at Innsbruck and Salzburg. His compositions, which were highly regarded by his contemporaries, include variations and fantasias for the piano, considerable church music and some pedagogical works; many of his works remain in manuscript....
Edward F. Kravitt
(b Crivitz, 16 Sept ?1770; d Parchim, Dec 26, 1825). German composer. He studied theology in Ludwigslust, and in 1797 became an assistant to the superintendent in Sternberg. He moved to Leipzig in 1801 to work for Breitkopf & Härtel on the new Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, returning to Mecklenburg on his father’s death. In 1809 he became a music teacher in Parchim.
The principal surviving source of his music is the Oden und Lieder für das Clavier (Ludwigslust, 1797), a set of 28 solo songs to texts of Schiller, Kosegarten and others; perhaps his most significant work is the unpublished collection of 17 settings of ballads by Schiller (1799), the manuscript of which is unfortunately lost. His writings include a two-volume Handbuch der Tonkunst, announced in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung but never published, and a Verzeichnis und Vergleichung der Choralmelodien zu dem Mecklenburgischen Kirchengesangbuche (Parchim, ...
revised by Bertil H. van Boer
(b Stockholm, Nov 13, 1789; d Lisbon, Feb 20, 1817). Swedish merchant, composer and chamber musician. He worked for his father’s banking and shipping firm in Stockholm, and spent much of his short life on business trips to Amsterdam, Viborg, Dublin and Lisbon. He was a capable bassoonist and violinist, and studied composition with J.N. Eggert. According to his obituary he introduced some of the string quartets of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven to Lisbon. He was also a contributor to the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, and among his articles is one on music in Portugal (xviii/26, 1816). De Ron’s compositions were influenced by Eggert and Beethoven; his harmonic style is similar to that of his contemporaries Spohr and Weber. Many of his works display an independence and artistic maturity that is remarkable in view of his amateur status and early death. In his chamber music and certain songs he experimented with new means of harmonic, melodic and rhythmic expression, although his technique is formally less advanced than his fellow Eggert student Erik Drake....
(b Fürstenau, nr Breslau, 1787; bur. Moscow, May 3, 1843). German composer. A pupil of Vogler and Albrechtsberger, he was also on personal terms with Beethoven. From 1810 he was Kapellmeister at the Leopoldstadt theatre in Vienna, then moved to Pest and Lemberg, and in 1817 to Moscow. There he enjoyed a high reputation as a teacher, composer and pianist (perhaps also as a cellist), and his organization of regular chamber music evenings attracted a wide public. He played a prominent role in the musical life of Moscow in the 1830s through his excellent knowledge of Viennese Classicism, and especially of the works of Beethoven. Glinka became acquainted with Gebel in 1834 and praised the faultless workmanship of his string quartets and quintets, in which Borodin traced Russian influence. The eight quintets show Gebel’s melodic gift, able craftsmanship and confident treatment of instruments, as well as a certain preference for the cello, for which he wrote some particularly expressive passages. His output includes four symphonies, an overture, chamber music (eight string quintets, a double quintet, two string quartets and a piano trio), sonatinas, variations and fantasias for piano, a mass, an oratorio and some German songs. His manual on composition was translated into Russian and published in Moscow in ...
(b Strasbourg, March 18, 1781; d Paris, May 20, 1870). French oboist, teacher and composer. In 1798 he entered the class of François Sallantin at the Paris Conservatoire, and was awarded a premier prix the following year. He may also have studied composition with A. Reicha. Concurrent with his studies he served as second oboist at the Théâtre Montansier, and later he joined the orchestras of the Théâtre Italien (1800–02) and Opéra-Comique (1802–12). In 1809, after travelling to Italy and Austria as a member of Napoléon's musique particulière, he was appointed first oboe at the Opéra-Comique, and adjunct professor at the Conservatoire. He subsequently succeeded Sallantin as both principal oboist at the Opéra (1812–34), and as professeur titulaire at the Conservatoire (1816–53, thence to 1868 on the Comité des Études). Among his students were the leading oboists, oboe makers and future Conservatoire professors of the next generation: H. Brod, A. Vény, A.-M.-R. Barret, C.-L. Triébert, S.-X. Verroust, A.-J. Lavigne, A. Bruyant (who inherited Vogt's compositional output) and C. Colin. Vogt was a member of the Chapelle Royale of Louis XVIII from its establishment in ...
revised by Cecelia H. Porter
(b Sulza, Thuringia, March 7, 1783; d Leipzig, Aug 27, 1846). German critic, editor, theologian and composer. The son of a Reformed pastor, Gottfried was a chorister at Naumburg. In Leipzig he studied music and theology (1804–9) and served as a Reformed pastor (1810–16), establishing and directing a theological seminary (1814–27). He also composed many songs and in 1808 began writing for the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, of which he succeeded Gottfried Christoph Härtel as editor (1827–41). He taught at the Leipzig Conservatory (1838–43) and was briefly its director in 1842.
Fink was initially neutral in the controversy between Classicism and Romanticism, and was friendly with Weber, who gave his Sechs Lieder (1812) a warm review in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and printed one song, Die Liebenden, in full. However, Fink later took up a stubborn stand against the younger Romantics. He published only half of Schumann's enthusiastic review (...
(b after 1750; d after 1819). Hungarian composer and cellist. He served as a musician at the court of Menyhért Szulyovszky at Rákócz, Upper Hungary, until 1794, when his employer was arrested for participating in the Jacobin uprising in Hungary; this event inspired Kossovits’s Slow Hungarian Dance in C minor, published as the last of his 12 danses hongroises pour le clavecin ou pianoforte (Vienna, c1800), which became one of the best-known dance pieces of the verbunkos period. Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, the most important Hungarian poet of the turn of the century, wrote his A’ reményhez (‘To Hope’, 1803) to the melody of this dance, thus contributing significantly to its popularity. It was arranged by Liszt in his Magyar dallok – Magyar rhapsodiák (i:6, v:12) and also in his Hungarian Rhapsody no.5. In 1804 Kossovits was in the service of Countess Andrássy in Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia), where he remained at least until ...
Gaynor G. Jones
revised by Jan ten Bokum
(b The Hague, Oct 1, 1753; d Berlin, Dec 10, 1815). Dutch violinist and composer. His father took him to Amsterdam, intending him to follow his own career of dancing-master. The boy’s musical talent was discovered by J.A. Kreusser, who taught him the violin; he soon became a virtuoso player, emulating the style of Michael Esser and Lolli. In 1773 he followed his teacher's brother G.A. Kreusser to Mainz and became chamber musician in the electoral Kapelle there. In 1791 he married the singer Margarete Hamel. He was appointed violinist in the Berlin court orchestra in 1793, and leader in 1813. In 1804 with K.M. Bohrer he organized subscription concerts at which lesser-known Classical works were heard; at one of these, Beethoven’s Second Symphony was performed. His compositions – six violin concertos and masonic songs – were never widely known.SchillingEAnnouncement and review of Schick’s and Bohrer’s benefit concerts, ...
(b Langensalza, Sept 24, 1773; d Leipzig, Jan 30, 1827). German conductor and composer. He attended the Thomasschule in Leipzig and from 1787 appeared as a soprano in the Gewandhaus concerts. In 1793 he began studying theology at Leipzig University, but soon changed to music and became a pupil of the court organist Engel and of J.G. Schicht. In 1800 he was appointed conductor with Franz Seconda’s theatre company in Leipzig, for which he also composed stage music. In 1810 he became director of the second Leipzig Singakademie and of the Gewandhaus concerts, where at first he conducted only secular vocal music; in 1816 he took over from Schicht as director of sacred works there as well. His post at the Singakademie connected him with the university, and in 1818 he was appointed music director there.
Schulz was most highly regarded as a singing tutor to amateurs. His few works include a number of quite popular lieder and partsongs, published by G.W. Finck in the ...
(b Parma, Feb 6, 1793; d Bergamo, Sept 8, 1838). Italian violinist and composer. His father, Alessandro Rovelli, was a conductor at the court of Weimar, and his uncle, the violinist Giuseppe Rovelli (b Bergamo, 1753; d Parma, 12 Nov 1806), was from 1782 a virtuoso da camera at the court of Parma. He studied the violin first with his grandfather, Giovanni Battista Rovelli (b Bergamo, 1740; d Bergamo), first violin at S Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, then in Paris with Kreutzer. He led an intensely active life as a virtuoso. He went with his father to Weimar in 1810, but later resumed his studies with Kreutzer. From 1815 he was first violin at the Munich court, with the titles musicista della reale camera bavarese and primo virtuoso. In 1819 he moved to Bergamo, where he taught at the Istituto Musicale, conducted at the Teatro Riccardi and was ...
(b Vienna, Dec 25, 1831; d Vienna, Oct 28, 1877). Austrian conductor and composer. At the age of 12 he became a choirboy in the Cistercian monastery in Heiligenkreuz, where he studied the piano with Ferdinand Borschitzky. During the summers of 1845 and 1846 he went to Vienna for instruction in composition with Ludwig Rotter. He then took up philosophy and law at the University of Vienna (1847) but did not complete these studies. He earned a living as a private tutor in Münchendorf, Lower Austria, in 1848–9 and began his musical career in 1852 as choirmaster at the Piaristenkirche in Vienna. From 1856 to 1866 he was choirmaster of the Männergesangverein in Vienna, and from 1858 he also taught at the conservatory and directed the choral society of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. He conducted the concerts of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde from 1859 to 1870...
revised by James Deaville
(b Würzburg, May 28, 1780; d Würzburg, Jan 5, 1862). German teacher, musical organizer, critic, theorist, conductor and composer. He studied music at the student institute of the Juliusspital in Würzburg, and studied law and philosophy at the university there. In 1801 he began his career as a violinist in the prince-bishop’s court orchestra. He also founded the Akademische Bande, a student choral and orchestral group, which in 1804 became the Akademisches Musikinstitut and was made part of the university, thus becoming the basis of the first state music school in Germany. His teaching and organizational work was of the highest importance and encompassed several disciplines and activities. He became reader in aesthetics in 1812, reader in pedagogical studies in 1819 and professor in 1821. In 1820 a singing school was established as part of the institute. He also conducted important historical concerts for King Ludwig I in ...
revised by John Warrack
(b Vienna, Feb 29, 1820; d Leipzig, June 21, 1887). Austrian composer, pianist and singing teacher. The son of a painter well known for his portraits of Beethoven, Weber and Spohr, he entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 16, studying the piano, composition (with Berton and Halévy) and singing (with Bordogni and Banderali). In the 1840s he travelled to Italy for further study in singing and in 1846 his opera Alessandro Stradella was produced in Florence. From 1850 to 1853 he was in London, acting as maestro al cembalo at Her Majesty's Theatre, as well as touring with Balfe, Sims Reeves and Clara Novello. While doing similar work at the Théâtre Italien Opera in Paris (1854–9), his comedy List um List was produced in Schwerin in 1858 under Flotow and became popular in several theatres in north Germany. He taught singing at the Leipzig Conservatory from ...
(b Lublin, 1791; d Lwów, Nov 30, 1859). Polish violinist, conductor, composer and teacher. He began his musical studies with his father, Michał, conductor of the cathedral orchestra at Lublin. From his father's correspondence it is known that he was to begin studies at the Warsaw Conservatory in 1816, but according to other sources he studied in Vienna. From 1814, for about four years, he was conductor of the theatre orchestra in Lwów. Critical acclaim of his virtuosity came in 1818 and 1819 through a series of concerts at the Schuppanzigh winter gardens in Lwów, and in the following few years he gave concerts in Kraków, Warsaw and Kiev. In 1831 he gave a concert tour in Austria (his first concert in Vienna was on 19 April 1831) and Italy; in Venice (according to reviews in the press) his playing was favourably compared to that of Paganini. Early in ...