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Hermann Kretzschmar (Composer, Arranger)

Born: January 19, 1848 - Olbernhau, Saxony, Germany
Died: May 10, 1924 - Gross-Lichterfelde, Germany

The distinguished as a writer on music and composer, August Ferdinand Hermann Kretzschmar [Kretschmar], was educated at the Kreuzschule at Dresden, where he was taught music by J. Otto, and was sent later to the Leipzig Conservatorium, where he was a pupil of Ernst Friedrich Eduard Richter, Reinecke, Paul and Papperitz.

Hermann Kretzschmar took the degree of Dr'.Phil. with a thesis on musical notation before Guido, and became in the same year, 1871, a teacher in the Leipzig Conservatorium. He conducted several musical societies, and overworked himself to such an extent that he was forced to give up Leipzig altogether. In 1876 he undertook the conductorship of the theatre in Metz; in 1877 went to Rostock as music director at the University, and from 1880 as town music director. In 1887 he succeeded H. Langer as music director of the Leipzig University, and conductor of a male choir. He soon became a member of various important musical institutions, such as the Bach Gesellschaft, and was made conductor of the Riedel-Verein in 1888. In 1890 he organised the Academic Orchestral Concerts, which had a successful career, with especial regard to historical programmes.until 1895. In 1898 he retired from his conductorships, but retained his professorship, and continued to give lectures on musical history. In 1909 he succeeded Joachim as head of the Hochschule at Berlin, a post he held until 1920.

Hermann Kretzschmar's compositions include only some organ works and partsongs. He contributed critical work to the Musikatisches Wochenblatt, and the Grenwoten; published lectures on Choral Music, on Peter Cornelius, etc. One of his most useful undertakings is the Führer durch den Konzertsaal, the equivalent of our own analytical.programmes, which began to be published in 1887, and have gone through many editions, being printed in separate portions in pamphlet form in 1898 and later. His collected essays (Gesammelte Aufsätze) appeared (1911), Geschichte des neuen deutschen Liedes (1912), Geschichte der Oper (1919), and Einführung in die Musikgeschichte (1920). He edited vols. viii. and ix. of D.D.T.

 

Source: Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1952 Edition; Author: J.A. Fuller Maitland)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2007)

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