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Schindler, Kurt


SCHINDLER, KURT (1882–1935), conductor, composer/arranger, and music editor. Born in Berlin, he studied at the piano conservatory with Friedrich Gernsheim and Carl Ansörge. He later studied musicology at the University of Berlin with Carl Stump and Max Friedländer. The latter introduced him to European folk music, while Gernsheim, in whose choral society he participated, instilled in him an interest in choral music. He made his official debut as composer at the Krefeld Music Festival (June 1902). As an opera conductor, he conducted the Stuttgart Opera (1902) and the Staatstheater in Wuerzburg (1903), and he was assistant to Felix Mottl and Hermann Zumpe at Munich and to Richard Strauss at the Berlin Opera (1904). Invited to join the conducting staff at the Metropolitan Opera, he immigrated to the United States in 1905. In 1909, he established the MacDowell Chorus, which, at Mahler's suggestion, evolved into the Schola Cantorum of New York. Until Schindler's resignation in 1926, the Schola ranked among the most outstanding choral societies in North America, whose programs combined master choral works, interspersed with novel arrangements of European folksongs, mainly Russian and Spanish. For two decades (1907–27), he served concurrently as music editor for the publishers G. Schirmer and Oliver Ditson. From 1912 to 1915 he served as choral director at Temple Emanuel. In 1926, at the point of physical and mental exhaustion, he sought refuge in Spain, where, from 1929 to 1933, he made three trips throughout northern Spain and Portugal which resulted in the posthumously published Folk Music and Poetry of Spain and Portugal (New York, 1941; Salamanca, 1991). In 1933, he established the first music department at Bennington College, Vermont, but resigned shortly thereafter due to failing health.


ng2 (includes a listing of his compositions and writings); Diccionario de la Música Española e Hispanoamericana (Madrid. 2002).

[Israel J. Katz (2nd ed.)]

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