Rudorff, Ernst Friedrich Karl



German composer; was born at Berlin; the son of a prominent professor in the University. Both his parents were musical, and his mother was a friend of the Mendelssohn family, and a granddaughter of J. F. Reichardt. He showed musical talent and as early as five years of age was placed under a good teacher. From 1852 to 1857 he continued his piano study under Bargiel, and for a short time during this period studied the violin under Louis Ries. He registered as a student at the Leipsic University for theology and history, which he soon gave up to devote his entire time to music at the Conservatory, under Rietz in composition, and Moscheles and Plaidy in piano, subsequently becoming a private pupil of Hauptmann in composition and Reinecke in piano. In 1865 he settled at Cologne as teacher in the Conservatory, and founded the Bach Society there in 1867; in 1869 he accepted a call to the head professorship of piano in the Royal High School of Music, Berlin, under Joachim, who had encouraged him in his early years of study. In addition to this he conducted the Stern Choral Society after Bruch's removal to England. This position he resigned in 1890. Debarred by nervousness from frequent public appearance as a pianist, his playing, when he did appear, was admired for its beauty of tone and poetic interpretation, and his work as a teacher was successful. His reputation has been made by his instrumental compositions; these include two symphonies; two overtures; a ballade, a serenade, and variations for orchestra; Der Aufzug der Romanza; Gesang an die Sterne; a sextet; a romanza; a fantasia; and numerous other piano solos and duets; also   studies, songs and part-songs. He is said to blend the classical style with the greater freedom and warmth of emotional expression peculiar to the Romanticists, his works showing some influence of Mendelssohn and Schumann, but more especially of Weber. His individual style is characterized by refined sentiment and elaborate treatment.