Bergmann, Carl

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Bergmann, Carl

Bergmann, Carl, German cellist and conductor; b. Ebersbach, Saxony, April 12, 1821; d. N.Y., Aug. 10, 1876. He was a pupil of Zimmerman in Zittau and of Hesse in Breslau; in consequence of his involvement in the revolutionary events of 1848–49, he went to America. In 1850 he joined the traveling Germania Orch. as a cellist; later became its conductor; also led the Handel and Haydn Soc. of Boston (1852–54). In 1854 he went to N.Y. and became conductor of the German men’s chorus Arion. On April 21, 1855, he made an impressive debut as a guest conductor of the N.Y. Phil., and was named its sole conductor for the 1855–56 and 1858–59 seasons; then shared the conductorship with Theodore Eisfeld. In 1865 he became permanent conductor of the N.Y. Phil., a position he held until he retired in March 1876.

He continued to perform as a cellist, taking part in the Mason-Thomas chamber music concerts; furthermore, he led a series of Sacred Concerts, in programs of both choral and orch. music. He was a progressive musician, and presented works of Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner at the time when their music did not suit the tastes of the American public

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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