Kirchner, Theodor


German organist and composer; a devoted follower of Schumann, whom he resembled not only in his work but also in the circumstances of his life. He was born at Neukirchen in Saxony and was taught the organ first by his father, who was a schoolmaster. In 1831 he went to Dresden and began studying with J. G. Schneider, attended the Burgerschule at Chemnitz, and went to Leipsic where he met Mendelssohn and Weinlig. He studied there with K. F. Becker, organist at the Nicolaikirche, and began then to admire and imitate Schumann. He went back to Dresden for a year to finish his course with Schneider, but returned to Leipsic and was the first student to enter the new conservatory there. In 1843 he was made organist at Winterthtir where he stayed twenty years. He then went to Zurich, where he conducted concerts and festivals. He was director at the Court of Meiningen and later of a  music school at Würzburg but resigned and went back to Leipsic to compose and teach. He won recognition slowly and was unable to get much teaching, and was forced to write popular music. He was finally given a position in the Dresden Conservatory, but in 1884 he was obliged to accept a subscription raised through the efforts of Brahms, Stockhausen, Joachim and Bülow. In 1890 he went to Hamburg where he died. He wrote one hundred works modeled after Schumann which similarity did not prevent them from showing some good original qualities. They were mostly songs and short pieces for the piano, except one serenade for piano and stringed instruments, and a string quartet. They were type pieces like those of Schumann and were full of pretty sentiment. Among the best are a Gedenkblatt; a Novelletten; Still und bewegt; Nachtstucke; and Olbumblatter, played by Mme. Schumann.