Gerster, Ottmar, German violinist, composer, and pedagogue; b. Braunfels, June 29, 1897; d. Leipzig, Aug. 31, 1969. He studied theory with Sekles at the Frankfurt am Main Cons. (1913-16), then violin with Adolf Rebner (1919-21). He played viola in string quartets (1923-27), and concurrently was concertmaster of the Frankfurt am Main Museumgesellschaft Orch. From 1927 to 1939 he taught violin and theory at the Folkwang-Schule in Essen; then was on the faculty of the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar (1947-52) and in Leipzig (1952-62). His music is marked by melodious polyphony in a neo-Classical vein; in his operas, he used folklike thematic material.
DRAMATIC Opera : Madame Liselotte (Essen, 1933); Enoch Arden (Diisseldorf, 1936); Die Hexe von Passau(Diisseldorf, 1941); Das Verzauberte Ich (Wuppertal, 1949); Der frohliche Sunder (Weimar, 1963). B a l l e t : Der ewige Kreis (Duisburg, 1939). ORCH.: 3 syms.: Kleine Sinfonie (1931), Thuringer Sinfonie (1952) and Leipziger Sinfonie (1965); Oberhessische Bauerntanze (1937); Cello Concerto (1946); Piano Concerto (1956); Horn Concerto (1962). CHAMBER: 2 string quartets (1923, 1954); String Trio (1957). VOCAL: Ballade vom Manne Karl Marx (und der Veranderung der Welt) for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1961); many other choruses, some to words of political significance; songs.
I O. Goldhammer, O. G. (Berlin, 1953); R. Malth, O.G.: Leben und Werk (Leipzig, 1988).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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