Born at Brunswick. He studied at the Leipsic Conservatory from 1864 to 1866, after which he was appointed Court pianist at Sondershausen. From 1867 he has been Court chapelmaster there. From 1869 to 1875 he lived in Leipsic, where he had been called to be conductor of the Euterpe. While there he joined with Franz von Hoistein and Philipp Spitta in establishing the Bach-Verein. Since 1875 he has conducted the concerts of the Basel Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft, those of the Gesang-Verein, and also of the Liedertafel. The Basel University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Philosophy hon. causa in 1889.