Online Encyclopedia

MAX BRUCH (1838– )

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 677 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MAX BRUCH (1838– ), German musical composer, son of a city official and grandson of the famous Evangelical cleric, Dr Christian Bruch, was born at Cologne on the 6th of January 1838. From his mother (nee Almenrader), a well-known musician of her time, he learnt the elements of music, but under Breidenstein he made his first serious effort at composition at the age of fourteen by the production of a symphony. In 1853 Bruch gained the Mozart Stipendium of 400 gulden per annum for four years at Frankfort-on-Main, and for the following few years studied under Hiller, Reinecke and Breunung. Subsequently he lived from 1858 to 1861 as pianoforte teacher at Cologne, in which city his first opera (in one act), Scherz, List and Rache, was produced in 1858. On his father's death in 1861, Bruch began a tour of study at Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Munich, Dresden and Mannheim, where his opera Lorelei was brought out in 1863. At Mannheim he lived till 1864, and there he wrote some of his best-known works, including the beautiful Frithjof. After a further period of travel he became musical-director at Coblenz (1865–1867), Hofkapellmeister at Sondershausen (1867–1870), and lived in Berlin (1871–1873), where he wrote his Odysseus, his first violin concerto and two symphonies being composed at Sondershausen. After five years at Bonn (1873–1878), during which he made two visits to England, Bruch, in 1878, became conductor of the Stern Choral Union; and in 188o of the Liver-pool Philharmonic. In 1892 he was appointed director of the Berlin Hochschule. In 1893 he was given the honorary degree of Mus. Doc. by Cambridge University. Max Bruch has written in almost every conceivable musical form, invariably with straight-forward honest simplicity of design. He has a gift of refined melody beyond the common, his melodies being broad and suave and often exceptionally beautiful. -
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