Dorn, Heinrich Ludwig Edmund


A modern musician of eminence, who has made his mark as composer, conductor and teacher. He was born in Konigsberg, Prussia, and pursued his studies in law at the Konigsberg University. After visiting Leipsic, Dresden, Prague and Vienna he settled in Berlin, where he took up the study of music under Zelter, Bergen and Klein. Here he produced an opera, but it was not a success. He became conductor of a theatre at Konigsberg and also occupied a similar position at Leipsic, where he taught Schumann counterpoint. After a brief engagement at a theatre in Hamburg he went to Riga, succeeding Wagner as conductor of the theatre there. In 1845 he founded the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne, and for five years remained at its head, directing festivals, in addition to teaching and composing. He next became conductor of the Berlin Royal Opera, succeeding O. Nicolai. He retired from this post in 1869. He was shortly afterward given the title of Koniglicher Professor and continued to teach and compose until his death in 1892. Dorn was an indefatigable worker and gained a great reputation in Berlin as a teacher and writer. He was a bitter opponent of Wagner and his ideas and wrote strongly against him. He has published a long list of works, including ten operas; many cantatas; a requiem; symphonies and other orchestral compositions, among which the most important is Siegesfestklange; also songs and piano-pieces. Of his operas, the most successful is Die Nibelungen, which was produced at Weimar in 1854. Dorn undoubtedly deserves a high place among musicians. He exerted a decided influence for good in the musical life of the various towns where he lived and worked. He published an autobiography, entitled Aus Meinem Leben in two volumes. He died in Berlin.