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Böhner, (Johann) Ludwig

pianist composer success opera

Böhner, (Johann) Ludwig, German pianist and composer; b. Töttelstädt, Jan. 7, 1787; d. Gotha, March 28, 1860. Following his musical training, he attained the position of music director in Nuremberg. As a pianist, he scored his first major success at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig on May 16, 1814. Concert tours then followed in Germany, and he also played in Austria, Denmark, and Switzerland. Böhner’s early success as a pianist and his genuine talent as a composer were compromised in later years by his growing eccentricity and ill health. He led a wandering life in his native Thuringia, being compelled to sell himself and his scores virtually for alms. His final appearance as a pianist took place in Arnstadt in Aug. 1859. Böhner wrote a romantic opera, Die Mädchen in einsamen Mühlenthale (1810–13), which he later reworked as the comic opera Der Dreiherrenstein (Meiningen, April 7, 1848). Its overture reveals a command of orchestral writing, as does his Grosse Ouverture for the concert hall (1812). He also wrote a well-crafted Sym. (1844), several piano concertos, and a number of variations for different solo instruments and orch.

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