Merkel, Gustav Adolf

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Merkel, Gustav Adolf

Merkel, Gustav Adolf, German organist, teacher, and composer; b. Oberoderwitz, near Zittau, Nov. 12, 1827; d. Dresden, Oct. 30, 1885. His father was an organist and teacher. He began his training at the Bautzen teacher’s college, where he became Musikpräfekt After teaching school in Dresden (1848–53), he received training in piano from Friedrich Wieck, in theory from Ernst Julius Otto, in organ from Johann Schneider, and in composition from Schumann and Reissiger. He settled in Dresden, where he was an organist at the orphanage church (1858–60), the Kreuzkirche (1860–64), and the Catholic court church (from 1864). From 1861 he also taught organ at the Cons., and, from 1867 to 1873, he was director of the Dreyssig Singakademie. Merkel was held in great esteem by his contemporaries. As an organist, he did much to preserve the Bach tradition handed down to him by Johann Schneider. His organ music, tutors, and studies were highly esteemed. Among his other works were instrumental pieces, motets, choral songs, and solo songs.


P. Janssen, G. M. (Leipzig, 1886); M. Saal, G.A. M. (1827–1885): Leben und Orgelwerk (Frankfurt am Main, 1993).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire