Wilhelmj, August (Emil Daniel Ferdinand Viktor)

views updated

Wilhelmj, August (Emil Daniel Ferdinand Viktor)

Wilhelmj, August (Emil Daniel Ferdinand Viktor), famous German violinist; b. Usingen, Sept. 21, 1845; d. London, Jan. 22, 1908. He received his earliest instruction in music from his mother, who was an amateur pianist, then studied violin with Konrad Fischer, court musician at Wiesbaden in 1849, making his first appearance there as a child prodigy on Jan. 8, 1854. In 1861, at the recommendation of Liszt, he was sent to the Leipzig Cons., where he studied with David (violin) and with Hauptmann and Richter (harmony and composition); in 1864 he went to Frankfurt am Main for an additional course with Raff. In 1865 he began his concert career, touring Switzerland. He then played in the Netherlands and England (1866), France and Italy (1867), Russia, Switzerland, France, and Belgium (1869), England, Scotland, and Ireland (1869-70), and then traveled through the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Germany, and Austria (1871-74), to England (1875-77), and to America (1878); he made a tour of the world to South America, Australia, and Asia (1878-82). In 1876 he was concertmaster of the Bayreuth Festival orch. For several years he lived chiefly at Biebrich am Rhein, where he established (with R. Niemann) a master school for violin playing. In 1886 he moved to Blasewitz, near Dresden; in 1894 he was appointed prof, of violin at the Guildhall School of Music in London. His first wife, whom he married in 1866, was Baroness Liphardt, a niece of David; in 1895 he married the pianist Mariella Mausch. He made a famous arrangement of Bach’s air from the orch. Suite in D major that became known as the Air on the G String (Bach’s original bore no such specification). He also arranged Wagner’s Träume for violin and orch., wrote a cadenza to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, and further composed, for Violin and Orch., 2 Konzertstücke (No. 2, In memoriam), Alla polacca, and Theme and Variations (after 2 caprices of Paganini), Romanze for Piano, and songs. With James Brown he publ. A Modern School for the Violin (6 parts).


E. Frassinesi, A. W. Violinista. Memorie (Mirandola, 1913); E. Wagner, Der Geigerkönig A. W.(Homburg, 1928).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

About this article

Wilhelmj, August (Emil Daniel Ferdinand Viktor)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article