Gradener, Karl Georg Peter

1812-1883

Violoncellist, composer and conductor; born at Rostock. After studying at the universities of Halle and Gottingen he determined upon a musical career, which began at Helsingfors, where he played the cello both in solo and quartet work. Three years later he became the musical director of Kiel University, where he remained for ten years, conducting a choral society and composing. In 1851 he founded a singing academy at Hamburg, which he directed until 1861, bringing out occasionally his own compositions. From 1862 to 1865 he was teacher of theory and vocal music at the Vienna Conservatory, and then returned to Hamburg, where he lived as teacher in the Conservatory of that place, and spent the rest of his life. His works include two symphonies; an overture to Schiller's Fiesco; a piano concerto; a sonata and various other pieces and studies for piano; a romanza for violin and orchestra; three violin sonatas; a sonata for piano and violin; one for cello; an oratorio, Johannes der Taufer; an octet, three quartets, and a trio for strings; and several trios and quintets for piano and strings. He wrote a Harmonielehre, published in 1877, and a number of musical essays originally for periodicals, collected and published in 1872. His compositions are considered much above the average, and are characterized by command of form, and originality in harmonic treatment; his choral works have received especial mention.