Draeseke, Felix August Bernhard


Composer and writer upon musical subjects, who was born at Coburg, where his father, the son of a once famous bishop of Magdeburg, was Court chaplain. He was educated in the Gymnasium of his native town, and from 1852 until 1855 he studied at  the Leipsic Conservatory under Richter, Hauptmann and Rietz. He became a devotee of Wagner in his early youth. He made the acquaintance of Liszt and von Bülow, and, in 1857, he moved to Dresden, where he wrote Konig Sigurd, in which Liszt had so much faith that he caused it to be accepted at Weimar, and even rehearsed, but Liszt resigned his post there before the work was produced. Draeseke, however, had by this time begun to attract notice by his compositions and his musical articles in magazines. In 1880 Draeseke was appointed teacher of theory in the Rollfus Academy, and in 1884 he succeeded Wüllner as teacher of composition at the Dresden Conservatory, a post which he still holds. A symphony of his was given in Dresden and in Berlin, in 1888, under von Bülow, and was well received. Among his works are two symphonies; a pianoforte sonata; the operas, Herrat, produced in 1872, and Gudrun, given at Hanover in 1884; Columbus, a cantata for chorus and orchestra; two string quartets; and other music, besides a requiem, which was first given at Leipsic in 1883 with marked success, and afterwards by the best of the German choral societies. His latest work is a mass in F sharp minor still in manuscript, and given at Dresden and Leipsic in 1892.