Weber, Bernhard Anselm

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Weber, Bernhard Anselm

Weber, Bernhard Anselm, German pianist, conductor, and composer; b. Mannheim, April 18,1764; d. Berlin, March 23, 1821. He commenced keyboard training with Vogler in 1773, and after studying singing with Holzbauer and theory with Einberger, he returned to Vogler to study composition in 1775. He took courses in theology and law at the Univ. of Heidelberg in 1781; then traveled as a performer on the Xanorphica, a keyboard instrument invented by Rolling. In 1787 he became music director of Grossmann’s opera troupe in Hannover, touring with it in 1790 in Holland, Germany, and Scandinavia. After a sojourn in Stockholm, he performed in Hamburg. In 1792 he was named joint music director (with Bernhard Wessely) of Berlin’s Nationaltheater; in 1796 became its first music director, and in 1803 was elevated to the post of Kapellmeister; he retained his title when the German and Italian theaters merged in 1811. During his Berlin tenure, he championed the music of Gluck, conducting his Ip-higénie en Tauride on Feb. 24,1795. Weber distinguished himself as a pianist and conductor. Although he was a prolific composer, only a few songs from his stage works retained their popularity. His incidental music to Schiller’s drama Wilhelm Tell (1804), however, was long admired.


H. Fischer, B.A. W.(diss., Univ. of Berlin, 1923); K. Hassan, B.A. W. (1764-1821); Ein Musiker für das Theater (Frankfurt am Main, 1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Weber, Bernhard Anselm

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