Wilhelmj, August



One of the first violinists of his day. Born at Usingen, Nassau, September 21, 1845. He appeared in one of Haydn's quartets when eight years old, the following year on the concert stage alone, and in 1856 won great applause at the Court Theatre of Wiesbaden. He was during this time playing under the direction of Conrad Fischer. From 1861 to 1864 he studied under Richter and Hauptmann at the Leipsic Conservatory and then went to Wiesbaden for Raff's instruction Liszt, recognizing his ability, introduced him to Ferdinand David, the great f violin teacher, under whom Wilhelmj continued his studies. He is considered David's greatest pupil. He appeared at the Gewandhaus concerts while studying at the Conservatory, and after leaving there traveled through Switzerland in 1865, Holland and England in 1866, then through Russia. France, Italy and Belgium. In 1869 he appeared in all the musical centers of Great Britain, then in Scandinavia, Germany and Austria. One of his greatest triumphs was made in the United States. He came here in 1878 and remained for four years, being received with great enthusiasm wherever he played. He continued his European tours until 1892, when he settled in London as professor of violin at the Guildhall School of Music. Wilhelmj has done much for the development of orchestral music and concerts in England He introduced to the London public Hans Richter, and even persuaded Wagner to act as conductor for the great Wagner Festival held at Royal Albert Hall in 1877. He had little time for composition and his only published works are Hochzeits Cantata; a violin concerto; a few instrumental solo pieces, a number of transcriptions from Bach, Chopin and Wagner for violin; and songs.