Zelter, Karl Friedrich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zelter, Karl Friedrich


(also Carl F. Zelter). Born Dec. 11, 1758, in Berlin; died there May 15, 1832. German composer, teacher, and conductor.

A student of the choral conductor K. F. C. Fasch, Zelter became the director of the Berlin Singakademie, which his teacher had founded, in 1800. In 1807 he established a school for orchestral performance (Ripienschule) in Berlin, and in 1809 he founded the first Liedertafel (men’s amateur choral society), which initiated a widespread interest in choral singing in Germany. In 1822 he established the Royal Institute for Church Music.

Zelter taught music courses at the University of Berlin. His pupils included F. Mendelssohn, O. Nicolai, and G. Meyerbeer. A close friend of J. W. von Goethe, Zelter composed several popular songs based on poems by Goethe and F. Schiller, as well as oratorios, cantatas, operas, and sacred music. Zelter was made an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1809.


Rolland, R. “Gete i Betkhoven.” Sobr. soch., vol. 15. Leningrad, 1932. (Translated from French.)
Schröder, C. Carl Friedrich Zelter und die Akademie. Berlin, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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