Almenräder, Carl, German bassoonist, inventor, and composer; b. Ronsdorf, Oct. 3, 1786; d. Biebrich, Sept. 14, 1843. He studied with his father, but was autodidact as a bassoonist. After training in theory from Bernhard Klein, he turned his attention to his career as a bassoonist. In 1810 he became a teacher of bassoon at the new Cologne School. After playing bassoon in the orch. of the Frankfurt am Main Theater (1812–14), he returned to Cologne to serve as a military bandmaster, during which time he served in France. In 1817 he became bassoonist in the orch. of the Mainz Theater. He became closely associated with Gottfried Weber, who encouraged him to pursue research on the bassoon at the B. Schotts Sòhne instrument factory in 1817. Almenrâder publ. his improvement of the 15-key bassoon in his Traité sur le perfectionnement du basson avec deux tableaux (Mainz, c. 1819). He then ran his own workshop in Cologne (1820–22), where he made flutes and clarinets. In 1822 he became 1st bassonist in the Duke of Nassau’s court orch. in Biebrich and Wiesbaden. He also pursued his research at Schott’s factory. In 1831 he was joined in a partnership by J. A. Heckel, who subsequently became the leading German manufacturer of German bassoons. Almenrâder also publ. a tutor for his 15-key bassoon in his Fagottschule (Mainz, 1843). Most of his compositions remain unpubl., but he did publ. a Bassoon Concerto, a Pot-pourri for Bassoon and Orch., Variations for Violin, Viola, and Cello, Introduction and Variations for Bassoon and String Quartet, and Duettinos for 2 Bassoons.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire