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Schulhoff, Julius


SCHULHOFF, JULIUS (1825–1898), piano virtuoso and composer. Born in Prague, Schulhoff made his debut in Dresden in 1842. He later moved to Paris and gained the patronage of Chopin, to whom he dedicated his first composition. After a series of recitals and concert tours he devoted himself to teaching in Dresden in 1870, and shortly before his death moved to Berlin. His compositions, all for the piano, include a sonata, études, and waltzes. His light, brilliant pieces such as his Galop di Bravura were particularly successful.

His great-grandnephew, erwin schulhoff (1894–1942), was also a pianist and composer. He was born in Prague, taught at the Prague Conservatory and from 1935 worked for the Czech radio. He was active in the promotion of contemporary music in his many concert tours and especially at the Festivals of the International Society for Contemporary Music. In 1942 he was seized by the Nazis and died in the Wuelzburg (Bavaria) concentration camp.

His compositions favor the grotesque and make use of atonal and polytonal devices, jazz-like idioms, and quarter-tone experiments. They include symphonies; works for voice and orchestra; a ballet, La Somnambule (1931); an opera, Plameny ("The Flames", 1932); and chamber music. His works with political themes are Symphony of Freedom (1941) and his oratorio The Communist Manifesto, performed posthumously in Prague in 1962.


Grove, Dict; mgg, s.v. (incl. bibl.).

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