Erk, Ludwig (Christian)

views updated

Erk, Ludwig (Christian)

Erk, Ludwig (Christian), German conductor, music scholar, and pedagogue; b. Wetzlar, Jan. 6, 1807;d. Berlin, Nov. 25, 1883. He studied with his father, Adam Wilhelm Erk (1779–1820), the Wetzlar cantor, cathedral organist, and teacher. He then was a pupil of Rinck (organ), Reinwald (violin), and André (composition) at Spiess’s educational inst. in Offenbach (1820–24), where he subsequently taught. In 1826 he became a prof, at the teacher’s seminary in Mors, and he also founded and conducted the Lower Rhine music festivals. In 1835 he settled in Berlin, teaching liturgical singing at the Royal Seminary until 1840. From 1836 he was conductor of the Royal Cathedral Choir, and he also was a member of the Singakademie (1836–47). In 1843 he founded his own men’s choral union and in 1852 his own mixed chorus. He was honored with the titles of Royal Music Director (1857) and Prof. (1876). He compiled a vast collection of folk song materials, authentic as well as non-authentic. His major work was the Deutscher Liederhort (Vol. I, Berlin, 1856; completed by F. Bohme, 3 vols., Leipzig, 1893–94). Among his other useful collections were Die deutschen Volkslieder mit ihren Singweisen (Berlin, 1838–5) and Deutscher Liederschatz (Berlin, 1859–72). His valuable library is housed in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek in Berlin.


A. Birlinger and W. Crescelius, Deutsche Lieder:Festgruss an L. E. (Heilbronn, 1876); K. Schultze, L E.:Eine biographische Skizze (Berlin, 1876); H. Schmeel, L. E.:Ein Lebensbild (Giessen, 1908).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire