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Neruda

Neruda

Neruda, family of Moravian musicians:

(1) Josef Neruda, organist and teacher; b. Mohelno, Jan. 16, 1807; d. Brunn, Feb. 18, 1875. He studied at the Benedictine monastery of Rajhrad, then taught piano in Olmütz (1825–32). He was organist of Brunn Cathedral (183244). He also appeared in concerts throughout Europe with his children, who were as follows:

(2) Amálie Nerudova, pianist and teacher; b. Brunn, March 31, 1834; d. there, Feb. 24, 1890. She studied with her father, and in addition to making tours of Europe with her family, she played in a trio with her brother Viktor and her sister Wilma (1848–52). She then was active mainly as a performer and teacher in Brunn.

(3) Viktor Neruda, cellist; b. Brunn, 1836?; d. St. Petersburg, 1852. He studied with his father, and then played in a trio with his sisters Amálie and Wilma (from 1848). He also toured Europe with his family, dying during a visit to Russia.

(4) Wilma Maria Francisca (Vilemina Maria Franziska) Neruda, esteemed violinist and teacher; b. Brunn, March 21, 1838?; d. Berlin, April 15, 1911. She studied with her father and with Leopold Jansa in Vienna, making her debut there (1846). After touring Germany with her family (1848), she gave concerts in London (1849); was soloist at a Phil. Soc. concert there (June 11, 1849). She played in a trio with her sister Amálie and her brother Viktor (1848–52), and subsequently pursued a distinguished solo career. She was made chamber virtuoso by the Swedish king in 1863. In 1864 she married Ludvig Norman, but the two were separated in 1869. She was prof. of violin at the Stockholm Cons. (1867–70). She gave annual concerts in London from 1869 and was greatly admired there; in 1876 the Duke of Edinburgh (later of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) and the earls of Dudley and Hardwicke presented her with an outstanding Stradivarius dating from 1709. She continued to give concerts throughout Europe while remaining closely associated with the musical life of England; also appeared as a chamber music artist, and gave recitals with Charles Hallé from 1877, marrying him in 1888. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), with the support of the kings of Sweden and Denmark, launched a public subscription in her honor in 1896. She toured the U.S. in 1899, and in 1900 settled in Berlin, where she taught at the Stern Cons.; was made violinist to Queen Alexandra in 1901.

(5) Marie (Arlbergová) Neruda, violinist; b. Brunn, March 26, 1840; d. Stockholm, 1922. She studied with her father, then appeared in concerts on tours of Europe with her family; later settled in Stockholm.

(6) Franz (František Xaver Viktor) Neruda, cellist and composer; b. Brünn, Dec. 3, 1843; d. Copenhagen, March 20, 1915. He studied violin with his father, and then took up the cello on his own (1852); appeared on tours of Europe with his family. After further cello training with Brezina in Brunn and with Servais in Warsaw (1859), he made a successful tour of Scandinavia with his sisters Wilma and Marie (1861–64); then settled in Copenhagen as a member of the royal orch. (1864–76). He was a founder of the Soc. for Chamber Music and its string quartet (1868), and performed widely with it until pursuing his career in England (1876–79). He then founded his own string quartet in Copenhagen, with which he was active from 1879 to 1889. After serving as a prof. at the St. Petersburg Cons. (1889–91), he returned to Copenhagen as conductor of the concerts of the Music Soc. (1891–1915). Concurrently he conducted the concerts of the Stockholm Music Soc, and was also active as a piano teacher. He wrote 5 cello concertos, Fra Behmerwald, a set of orch. works, chamber music, pieces for Cello and Piano, organ works, piano pieces, and songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire

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