Category: Performers

Berlin’s chamber music in the 1840s

August Zimmermann’s Quartet “The great prophet of Beethoven’s last quartets is definitely Zimmermann, 40 years before Joachim!”–Ivan Mahaim As mentioned in the previous post, Ivan Mahaim’s 1964 study of Beethoven: Naissance et Renaissance de Derniers Quatuors argued that the obscure violinist August Zimmermann deserved as much recognition as Joachim for his Berlin ensemble’s performances of […]

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An assessment of Joachim’s importance from 1931

The centennial of Joachim’s birth in 1931 was observed in Berlin and elsewhere with tributes recalling the important part he had played in so many aspects of musical life. Only a few years later the Nazi re-writing of Germany history began, in which Jewish artists and intellectuals were purged from the German culture they helped […]

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Loving Spohr

Yesterday I came upon a review that sheds light on the popularity of Ludwig Spohr’s violin music, which was the question I was left with after researching the repertoire of violin soloists at the Leipzig Gewandhaus over the nineteenth century. The reception history of Spohr isn’t a topic simply to google or look up on […]

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The Joachim tradition at the Gewandhaus

Joachim and the Gewandhaus: a sixty-year symbiosis Among the lore of this historic institution is Joachim’s debut as a twelve-year-old at the Gewandhaus in 1843. (Robert Eshbach has documented this event on his website). The Gewandhaus’s conductor Felix Mendelssohn and concertmaster Ferdinand David oversaw Joachim’s development as the child prodigy went through his teenage years. […]

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Kruse compared to other Joachim students also active in London

Did Johann Kruse really stand out that much among the other violinists Joachim taught, making him the obvious choice for preferential treatment?While he was giving in concerts in London, a number of other Joachim students were also making a living in the biggest city in the world. Several were exactly his age and had been […]

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Joachim’s student Johann Kruse, Part 2: Nellie Melba

“Do you hear anything of Kruse? He never writes, and I long to know something about him.”–11 June 1900 In Joachim’s letters to his London brother Henry and his wife Ellen, Johann Kruse comes up over twenty times, far more than any other former student. (These letters are transcribed and available online on the Brahms […]

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Profiles of Joachim’s Students: 2. Lili Petschnikoff

Lili Petschnikoff (1874-1957) was born Lili Schober in Chicago. She was the youngest daughter of German parents who moved to Berlin with her when she began studying at the Hochschule with Joachim. In her memoir, she admitted that “accepting this career was not of my own choosing; it was my dear mother who had placed […]

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