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Albrecht

Albrecht

Albrecht, family of German-Russian musicians:

(1) Karl (Franz) Albrecht, conductor and composer; b. Posen, Aug. 27, 1807; d. Gatchina, near St. Petersburg, March 8, 1863. He studied harmony and counterpoint with Josef Schnabel in Breslau, and also learned to play string and wind instruments. In 1825 he became 1st violinist in the Breslau Theater orch. He went to Dusseldorf as répétiteur at the Opera in 1835. After conducting his own traveling opera troupe, he went to St. Petersburg in 1838 as conductor of the theater orch. He conducted the German Opera until serving as conductor of the Russian Opera from 1840 to 1850. On Dec. 9, 1842, Albrecht conducted the premiere of Glinka’s Rus-lan and Ludmila there. In 1850 he became a teacher at the orphanage in Gatchina. Among his compositions were the ballet Der Berggeist (1825), 3 string quartets, a Mass, and some vocal pieces. His 3 sons were musicians:

(2) Konstantin (Karl) Albrecht, cellist and teacher; b. Elberfeld, Oct. 4, 1835; d. Moscow, June 26, 1893. He studied with his father. After settling in Moscow, he became cellist in the orch. of the Bolshoi Theater. In 1860 he helped his close friend N. Rubinstein organize the Russian Musical Soc. and the Moscow Cons., where he was on the faculty from 1866 to 1889. In 1878 he founded the Moscow Choral Soc. He also was a close friend of Tchaikovsky, whose Serenade for Strings was dedicated to Albrecht. He publ. a guide to choral singing (Moscow, 1866; 2nd ed., rev., 1885) and a thematic catalogue of Glinka’s ballads, songs, and operas (Moscow, 1891).

(3) Eugen (Maria) Albrecht, violinist and teacher; b. St. Petersburg, July 16, 1842; d. there, Feb. 9, 1894. He was a student of David (violin), Hauptmann (composition), and Karl Brendel (music history) at the Leipzig Cons. (1857–60). Upon his return to St. Petersburg, he was a violinist in the orch. of the Italian Opera from 1860 to 1877. He also was 2nd violin in the quartet of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Musical Soc. from 1862 to 1887. In 1877 he became inspector of music of the St. Petersburg theaters and in 1892 librarian of the city’s Central Music Library.

(4) Ludwig (Karl) Albrecht, cellist and composer; b. St. Petersburg, May 27, 1844; d. Saratov, 1899. He was a student of Karl Davidov at the St. Petersburg Cons, (graduated, 1865). After teaching at the Moscow Cons. (1878–89), he settled in Saratov. He wrote a cello tutor (2 vols., Moscow, n.d.) and some cello pieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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