Gompertz, Richard


Excellent German violinist, distinguished especially for ensemble playing; was born at Cologne. His mother was a good musician and his first teacher. At seven he began violin study under Derkum, at twelve played with orchestra, and continued his studies at the Conservatory under the head professor, Konigslow, not neglecting at the same time his general education. At sixteen he became a pupil of Joachim at Berlin, where he remained till 1878, making his debut at Cologne, and afterward traveling as soloist with a male choral society from that place. In 1880 he went to Cambridge, England, where he organized the Cambridge String Quartet. He taught in the Royal College of Music from its beginning, in 1883, and in 1895 became professor of violin there. During his sojourn in London he played in a number of prominent concerts, both as soloist and ensemble player, but from 1890 to 1899 confined his public appearances to the concerts of his quartet, which established a far higher standard in its particular field than had been previously known in London. Gompertz's influence as a teacher was wide, and of the best. From 1899 he has lived at Dresden, devoting much time to composition. He has published a sonata for piano and violin, his most important work; and a book of songs. A violin concerto, studies for violin, other songs, and sonatas, remain in manuscript.