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Gotthold Frotscher (Music Historian, Arranger)

Born: December 6, 1897 - Ossa (today Narsdorf), Saxony, Germany.
Died: September 30, 1967 - Berlin, Germany

Gotthold Frotscher was a German music historian. He was the son of Dr. Paul G. Frotscher and his wife Ida H. Berger. Hhe finished his stuidies at the Humanistischen Gymnasium in Freiberg in 1916 as Primus Omnium. Then he began studying at the Universities of Leipzig and Bonn mainly musicology, German literature and philosophy. His professors were inter alia Hermann Abert, Albert Köster, Felix Krueger, Hugo Riemann, Arnold Schering, Eduard Spranger and Wilhelm Wundt. On March 28, 1922 Frotscher received his doctorate from the University of Leipzig, and his dissertation was titled Die Ästhetik des Berliner Liedes im 18. Jahrhundert (The aesthetics of the Berlin Lied in the 18th century). Already during his studies he was a freelancer for the Leipziger Abendpost and the Neuen Musikzeitung.

In 1920, Gotthold Frotscher founded the Akademischen Orchestervereinigung in Leipzig and in 1922 he passed the state exams in music theory and organ at Dresden. With the Akademischen Orchestervereinigung he gave many historic concerts in Leipzig and concert tours in Saxony evoked the interest in early music. On May 22, 1923 Frotscher married Gertrud Luise Heinrichsdorff, a daughter of Otto Heinrichsdorff. With her he had two sons, Arnold and Johann Christian. The University of Danzig issued in 1924 his Habilitation über Die Hauptprobleme der Musikästhetik des 18. Jahrhunderts (habilitation on the main problems of the musical aesthetics of the 18th Century) (apparently still unpublished).

After the "seizure" of the National Socialists, Gotthold Frotscher joined the NSDAP on May 1, 1933. In November 1933, he signed the commitment of the professors at German universities and colleges to Adolf Hitler. He worked as a Group Leader in the field of music in the Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur (KfdK) Danzig (Combat League for German Culture). In 1935, he became a member and officer of the Hauptabteilung Musik im Kulturamt der Reichsjugendführung (Department of Music at the Cultural Office of the Reich Youth Leadership) and director of the Orgelarbeitsgemeinschaft (Organ Association). In 1936 he was appointed to the University of Berlin and from 1939 he worked for the Staatliche Institut für Deutsche Musikforschung (National Institute for German Music Research), where he was the "racial scientist" with regard to the German music culture devoted to various racist elaborate on "Music and race" published and held speeches at Nazi events. He was advisor to the Ministry of Propaganda. In addition to his "race research" he conducted organ research. There are are numerous publications of Frotscher on the history of organ playing. On behalf of the Reichsjugendführung (Reich Youth leadership) he published the Zeitschrift Musik in Jugend und Volk (music journal in youth and people).

After the end of World War II, Gotthold Frotscher was in 1950 a lecturer in musicology at the Pädagogischen Hochschule Berlin. In 1965, he wrote as a freelancer for music magazines Hi-Fi and Fono Forum.


Source: German Wikipedia Website (December 2012), English translation by Aryeh Oron (June 2013)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2013)

Gotthold Frotscher: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Gotthold Frotscher (Wikipedia) [German]




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