Dorn, Heinrich (Ludwig Egmont)

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Dorn, Heinrich (Ludwig Egmont)

Dorn, Heinrich (Ludwig Egmont) , noted German conductor, pedagogue, and composer, father of Alexander (Julius Paul) Dorn; b. Konigsberg, Nov. 14, 1800; d. Berlin, Jan. 10, 1892. He was a law student at Konigsberg in 1823, but studied music diligently, continuing in Berlin under L. Berger (piano), Zelter, and B. Klein. After teaching in Frankfurt am Main, he became Kapellmeister of the Konigsberg Theater in 1828. In 1829 he became music director of the Leipzig Theater. In 1830 Schumann became his pupil. In 1832 he went to the Hamburg Theater, and was concurrently music director at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Riga. Wagner conducted the premiere of his opera Der Schoffe von Paris in Riga in 1838. After Wagner lost his post at the Riga Theater in 1839, Dorn was named his successor. The two subsequently became bitter enemies. Dorn next went to Cologne, where he served as Kapellmeister at the theater and of the concerts of the Singverein and Musikalis-chen Gesellschaft (1843–44). He then was conductor of the Lower Rhenish Music Festivals (1844–47). In 1845 he founded the Rheinische Musikschule, which became the Cologne Cons, under Hiller’s directorship in 1850. For his services to music in Cologne, he was accorded the title of Royal Musikdirektor in 1847. In 1849 he succeeded Nicolai as court Kapellmeister of the Royal Opera in Berlin. In 1854 he anticipated Wagner by bringing out his opera Die Nibelungen) although initially successful, it was eventually supplanted by Wagner’s masterful Ring cycle. Dorn was pensioned with the title of Royal Prof, in 1869. He subsequently busied himself with teaching and writing music criticism. He publ. an autobiography, Aus meinem Leben (7 vols., Berlin, 1870–86; includes various essays).


DRAMATIC Opera : Die Rolandsknappen (Berlin, 1826); Der Zauberer und das Ungethum (Berlin, 1827); Die Bettlerin (Konigsberg, 1827); Abu Kara (Leipzig, 1831); Das Schwarmermadchen (Leipzig, 1832); Der Schoffe von Paris (Riga, Sept. 27, 1838); Das Banner von England (Riga, 1841); Die Musiker von Aix-la-Chapelle (1848); Artaxerxes (Berlin, 1850); Die Nibelungen (Berlin, March 27, 1854); Bin Tag in Russland (Berlin, 1856); Der Botenlaufer von Pirna (Mannheim, March 15, 1865); Gewitter bei Sonnenschein (Dresden, 1865). B a l l e t : Amors Macht (Leipzig, 1830). OTHER: Orch. music; choral pieces; songs; piano music.


A. Rauh, H. D. als Opernkomponist (diss., Univ. of Munich, 1939).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire