Loewe, Johann Karl


Born at Loebejuen, between Cothen and Halle. His father, a schoolmaster and cantor, gave him his first lessons in music. His voice soon attracted attention, and he was placed in the choir of Cothen, where he remained for two years. In 1809 he entered the Gymnasium of the Francke Institution at Halle, of which Turk was the head and also director of the town choral society. As a member of this society, Loewe sang before Mme. de Stael and before King Jerome, who gave him an annuity of three hundred thalers. With this money he could afford to devote himself to music, and besides his singing he studied piano, French and Italian. The War of 18121813 caused the flight of King Jerome and the consequent termination of Loewe's three hundred thalers. With the aid of Niemeyer he entered the University of Halle as a theological student under Michaelis. Later he joined the Singakademie founded by Naue. In 1818 he composed his first ballads, and during the next two years he visited Dresden, Weimar and Jena, becoming acquainted with von Weber, Hummel and Goethe. In 1820 he became professor at the Gymnasium and Seminary and cantor at Stettin. The next year he was appointed town music-director and organist of St. Jacobus. In 1837 he was elected a member of the Academy of Berlin, having acquired an enviable reputation both as conductor and professor. He traveled much, visiting the principal cities in Germany, Vienna, London, where he sang and played at court, Sweden, Norway and Paris. He was afflicted with a peculiar illness in 1864, falling into a trance which lasted for six weeks. Two years later the Stettin authorities asked him to resign. The King partially atoned for this by bestowing upon him a higher grade of the Order of the Red Eagle than he had before held. He died in Kiel, after a second trance, and his   heart was buried near his organ in St. Jacobus, at Stettin. Loewe was a prolific composer, publishing one hundred and forty-five works with opus-numbers, symphonies, concertos, duets, and other piano music; many ballads, in which he ranked very high, and may be considered as a successor of Zumsteeg. Of his five operas, only one was performed, and for which he was presented with a gold medal by the Crown Prince. He composed many oratorios, being especially fond  of composing for voices, without accompaniment, of which Die Apostel von Philippi, Die Heilung des Blindgebornen, and Johannes der Taufer are examples.