Uber

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Uber

Uber, family of German musicians:

(1) Christian Benjamin Uber, lawyer, glass-harmonica player, and composer; b. Breslau, Sept. 20, 1746; d. there, 1812. He was educated in Halle and Breslau, becoming a civil servant in the latter city in 1772; although an amateur musician, he excelled as a performer on the glass harmonica at concerts he gave in his own home. He wrote a comic opera, Clarissa oder Das unbekannte Dienstmädchen (1772), two cantatas and other vocal pieces, and much chamber music. He had two sons who became professional musicians:

(2) Christian Friedrich Hermann Uber,

violinist, conductor, and composer; b. Breslau, April 22, 1781; d. Dresden, March 2, 1822. After training with his father, he engaged in law studies in Halle; receiving encouragement from D.G. Turk, he decided to pursue a career in music. In 1804 he accompanied Prince Radziwill to Berlin, where he entered the service of Prince Louis Ferdinand; then was a violinist in Braunschweig. He was director of the Kassel Opera (1808-14); after conducting in Mainz (1814-16), he went to Dresden as director of the Seconda company; after a sojourn in Leipzig as a teacher, lecturer, and writer on music, he returned to Dresden in 1818 to serve as Kantor at the Kreuzschule and music director of the Kreuzkirche. He composed two operas, Der frohe Tag (Mainz, 1815) and Les Marins,a melodrama, Der Taucher,an intermezzo, Der falsche Werber (Kassel, 1808), and incidental music to plays; also the oratorio Die letzten Worte des Erlösers (1822), some cantatas, violin concertos, and songs.

(3) Alexander Uber, cellist and composer; b. Breslau, 1783; d. Carolath, Silesia, 1824. He received initial training from his father in Breslau, where he later studied violin with J. Janetzek, cello with J. Jäger, and theory with J.I. Schnabel; following tours as a virtuoso, he settled as Kapellmeister to the Prince of Schönaich-Carolath. He wrote several overtures, a Cello Concerto, (2) Air variéfor Flute and Orch., Variations for Cello and Orch., 16 Variations for Cello and Orch., choruses and other vocal pieces, and various chamber works.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire