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Fritz Reuter (Composer, Arranger)

Born: October 11, 1863 - Johannsbach, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany
Died: June 9, 1924 - Germany

The famous German composer, musicologist, church musician and teacher, Friedrich Otto (Fritz) Reuter, was born in Johannsbach, in the Erzgebirge, Saxony. His father was Johann Friedrich Reuter, his mother Ida Augusta Friedericke, née Krätzel. After his confirmation he entered the Teachers Seminary in Waldenburg, graduating in 1884. He took all the courses offered in the music department of the Waldenburg Seminary and also studied under such well-known teachers of his day as Reichardt at Waldenburg; Schneider and Schreck in Leipzig; Josef Rheinberger in Munich; and Thiel of the Akademisches Institut für Kirchenmusik in Berlin. He was most probably a student of a student of J.S. Bach.

In 1884, Friedrich Otto Reuter accepted the position as assistant teacher at Oberlungwitz, near Chemnitz. In 1887 he accepted the position of teacher, organist, and choir director in Klingenthal. In 1892 he served at Rheinsdorf near Zwickau. In 1893 he went to Lichtenstein-Kallnberg where he was Kantor until 1904. His conscience would not let him serve any longer in the State Church. He, therefore, joined the Lutheran Free Church of Saxony. From 1904 to 1905 he served as teacher in a private boys school in Berlin. In 1905 he accepted a call to the parochial school of the Lutheran congregation in Winnipeg, Canada. In 1907 Reuter came to Bethlehem Congregation in Chicago. In 1908 he accepted a call from the Ev. Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin and Other States to serve as teacher of music at the Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota. Among his pupils was the conductor Lars Erik Larsson (1908-1986).

Besides teaching music, Friedrich Otto Reuter composed church music for choirs and organ. Much of his work was left in manuscript. He was once asked to write a sonata for a weekend festival - he had 3 days notice. At the festival he was asked how he did it. his answer was DISCIPLINE.

On July 14, 1894, Friedrich Otto Reuter married Clara I. Sonntag. They had 8 children: Magdalena, Elizabeth, Marie, Ida, Katie, Friedrich, Johanna, and Gerhard.

Source: Bits & pieces from various sources; Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2009); Kären Alethea Reuter Haas (February 2017, April 2017)

Fritz Reuter: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

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