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Schröter, family of German musicians:

(1) Johann Friedrich Schröter, oboist and teacher; b. Eilenburg, 1724; d. Kassel, 1811. He began his career as an oboist in Count Brühl’s regiment. In 1766 he went to Leipzig, where he nurtured his children’s musical careers; also took them on tours of Germany, the Netherlands, and England (1771-c. 1773). He later was a court musician and teacher in Hanau (1779–86) and Kassel. His four children were:

(2) Corona (Elisabeth Wilhelmine) Schröter, soprano, actress, and composer; b. Guben, Jan. 14, 1751; d. Ilmenau, Aug. 23, 1802. She began her musical training with her father, becoming proficient as a keyboard player, guitarist, and singer; continued her studies with Hiller in Leipzig, where she sang in his Grand Concerts from 1765; later became active as an actress in amateur productions there. She won the admiration of Goethe, who arranged for her to be made a Kammersängerin to the Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar in 1776; she also appeared as an actress at the amateur court theater, frequently taking roles opposite Goethe in his own dramas. When the court theater became a professional ensemble in 1783, she devoted herself to singing, teaching, poetry, drawing, and painting. Her association with the court ended about 1788. She settled in Ilmenau about 1801. She created the title role in and wrote music for Goethe’s Singspiel Die Fischerin (1782); also wrote other stage music and publ. 25 Lieder in Musik gesetzt for Voice and Piano (Weimar, 1786; includes one of the earliest settings of Goethe’s Der Erlkönig from Die Fis-cherin) and (16) Gesänge for Voice and Piano (Weimar, 1794).


H. Düntzer, Charlotte von Stein und C. S.: Eine Vertheidigung (Stuttgart, 1876); P. Pasig, Goethe und Ilmenau mit einer Beigabe: Goethe und C. S.(Ilmenau, 1902); H. Stümcke, C. S. (Bielefeld, 1904; second ed., 1926).

(3) Johann Samuel Schroeter, pianist and composer; b. probably in Guben, c. 1752; d. London, Nov. 1, 1788. He commenced musical studies with his father, and about 1763 became a pupil of Hiller in Leipzig, where he sang in Hiller’s concerts and later was active as a pianist (from 1767). He went to London with his family, then settled there; was organist at the German Chapel before being made music master to Queen Charlotte in 1782 in succession to J.S. Bach. He eventually entered the service of the Prince of Wales (later King George IV). He publ. 12 concertos for Keyboard and Strings (London, 6 c. 1774 and 6 c. 1777), various sonatas and other chamber pieces, and some vocal music. His widow became attached to Haydn during Haydn’s stay in London (1790–91), and sent him many impassioned letters, of which copies made by Haydn are extant.

(4) (Johann) Heinrich Schröter, violinist and composer; b. Warsaw, c. 1760; d. probably in Paris, after 1782. He first made an impression as a soloist in a Dittersdorf violin concerto in Leipzig (1770). After appearing in concerts with his family in London, he went with his father to Hanau in 1779; gave concerts with his sister Marie in Frankfurt am Main (1780) and in Leipzig (1782) before disappearing from the musical scene. His extant works comprise 6 violin duets (London, c. 1772), 6 Duo concertans for 2 Violins (Paris, c. 1785), and 6 string trios (London and Paris, c. 1786).

(5) Marie Henriette Schröter, singer; b. Leipzig, 1766; d. probably in Karlsruhe, after 1804. She studied with her father and gave concerts in Leipzig; went with her father to Hanau, where she became a court music teacher when she was only 13. She was a Kammersängerin at the Darmstadt court until 1804.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire