Sunday, August 25, 2013

Henry Schradieck

Henry Schradieck was a German violinist, teacher, conductor, and composer born (in Hamburg) on April 29, 1846.  Johannes Brahms had been born there 13 years earlier.  Schradieck is best known for his many study books for violin (and viola) and for several editions of various works for violin, including the Mendelssohn violin concerto in e minor.  It has been said that he moved frequently and preferred not to remain in one place too long.  Among other violinists, Willy Hess, Mischa Mischakoff, and Steven Staryk did the same thing.  Schradieck received his first lessons from his father, who was a violinist, and first played in public at age 6, possibly age 5.  One source states that in 1854, at age 8, he entered the Brussels Conservatory and graduated in 1858.  He was 12 years old.  It has been stated that Teresa Milanollo paid for his tuition at the conservatory.  His teacher there was Hubert Leonard.  He then went to Leipzig to study with Ferdinand David.  In 1864, he was hired as professor of violin at the Moscow Conservatory.  He remained there for three years and then returned to Hamburg to lead the Hamburg Philharmonic Society Orchestra.  After 6 years, he joined (in 1874) the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig as concertmaster.  Felix Mendelssohn and Ferdinand David had already left the scene – in fact, David had died the previous year.  Schradieck also taught at the Leipzig Conservatory and conducted the theatre orchestra.  He was 28 years old.  In 1883, he came to the U.S and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio.  There, he organized an orchestra and taught at the College of Music.  He returned to Hamburg in 1889 to teach at the Hamburg Conservatory.  Nine years later, in 1898, he returned to the U.S.  He devoted most of his time to teaching in Philadelphia and New York.  Among the oddly interesting things about his career are that he could play all the Beethoven quartets (presumably the first violin part) from memory and he seriously studied the art of violin making.  Among Schradieck’s pupils are Maud Powell, Theodore Spiering, Ottokar Novacek, and Carl Tollefsen.  Schradieck died (in Brooklyn, New York) on March 25, 1918, at age 71.  

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