Ludwig Spohr

Spohr, Ludwig


(also Louis Spohr). Born Apr. 5, 1784, in Braunschweig; died Oct. 22, 1859, in Kassel. German composer, Violinist, conductor, and teacher.

The son of a doctor, Spohr studied violin under F. Eck, with whom he made a trip to Russia. He held the post of kapellmeister in Braunschweig and Gotha and was a concertmaster in Vienna from 1812 to 1816; he also appeared on occasion in London and Paris. In 1822, Spohr was appointed kapellmeister to the court at Kassel. His European concert tours as a violinist and conductor were enormously successful.

As a violinist, Spohr was noted for his full, singing tone and impeccable technique. The founder of the 19th-century German school of violin playing, he educated several generations of violinists, including F. David, A. Kompel, and L. Saint-Luban; he was the author of Violin School (1831). Spohr, who played a major role in the development of conducting into an independent performing art, was among the first to use the baton. As a composer, he was a representative of the romantic trend in German music.

Spohr composed ten operas, with plots taken, for the most part, from historical or fantastic subjects; the most popular were Faust (stage 1816 in Prague under the direction of C. M. von Weber), Jessonda (1823), The Alchemist (1830), and the Crusaders (1845). Among his other works are nine symphonies, 15 violin concerti, and 34 string quartets. Spohr’s Autobiography (vols. 1–2, 1860–61) provides a broad survey of the musical life of the first half of the 19th century.


Stierlin, L. L. Spohr. Zürich, 1862–63.
Robert, C. L. Spohr. Berlin, 1883.
References in periodicals archive ?
1820: A baton was first used to conduct an orchestra in England, by Ludwig Spohr.
TODAY WORLD CELL 1820: A baton was first used to conduct an orchestra in England, by Ludwig Spohr.
35 Selected Studies for String Bass--Luigi Rossi, by Rodolphe Kreutzer, Philippe Libon, Joseph Mayseder, Giovanni Battista Polledro, Ludwig Spohr and Pierre Rode; edited by Thomas Martin.
Instead, she and clarinetist Michael Anderson will accompany Jette on Saturday in a program of German, Italian and English art songs by Fanny Mendelssohn, Ludwig Spohr, Johann Simon Mayr, Dominic Argento and Franz Schubert.
Composed by the once-revered Ludwig Spohr (1784-1859), Jessonda might these days be too statuesque for staging in toto; nor would anybody relish explaining to the local PC thought-police that Spohr's plot subverts the entire multicultural paradigm by deploring suttee.
And so, when the Ossian Overture was awarded a prize in a Danish composition competition in 1840 (the judges, Friedrich Schneider and Ludwig Spohr, were German), and when Gade's First Symphony, rejected for performance in Copenhagen, was successfully premiered under Mendelssohn's baton at the Gewandhaus on 2 March 1843, the young Dane was inevitably drawn to Leipzig, where he stayed for five years, performing his first two symphonies and the Ossianic cantata Comala (1846), serving as Mendelssohn's deputy and successor at the Gewandhaus, and teaching at the Leipzig Conservatory.
This Rossi collection includes 11 studies by Rodolphe Kreutzer, 12 by Philippe Libon, three by Joseph Mayseder, one by Giovanni Battista Polledro, four by Ludwig Spohr and four by Pierre Rode.
July 3, vocal recital, Beall Hall at UO - Soprano Maria Jette will sing art songs from German, Italian, English and Viennese traditions by Fanny Mendelssohn, Ludwig Spohr, Dominic Argento and Franz Schubert.