Grell, Eduard August


German organist and composer of repute; born in Berlin. Was a son and pupil of the organist of the Parochial Church, and afterwards studied under Kaufmann, Ritschl and Zelter. In 1816 he was appointed organist of the St. Nicholas Church, and in 1839 he became Court cathedral organist. In 1841 was made a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts, and from 1843 to 1845 was choirmaster at the Cathedral. After 1851 he was teacher of composition at the academy, a member of the senate of that institution, and principal director of the Singing Society, resigning the last named position in 1876. In 1858 he was made professor; six years later the distinguishing order pour la merite, and, in 1883, the honorary degree of Doctor of Theology from the Berlin University, were conferred upon him. He was much esteemed in his day as a teacher and conductor, and still more for his theoretical and historical learning. He also composed works of merit, especially in the larger forms of choral music. His only instrumental compositions were organ pieces and an overture for orchestra. His most important work is a mass in sixteen parts without accompaniment. Others are an oratorio, Die Israeliten in der Wüste; psalms in eight and eleven parts; cantatas; motets; hymns; songs; duets; a Te Deum, and a fourpart arrangement of the choral melodies of the Evangelical Gesangbuch, for male chorus, published about 1883. His Aufsatze und Gutachten, published 1887 at Berlin, is an exposition of his eccentric opinions on the relative value of vocal and instrumental music, his particular tenet being that only vocal music is of real worth.