Schmitt, George Aloys



German composer and conductor; born at Hanover; a son of Aloys Schmitt, the eminent pianist and teacher. George studied with his father and with Vollweiler at Heidelberg university in counterpoint. After tours as a pianist through Germany, France, Belgium and Algiers he visited London, became theatre conductor at Aix-la-Chapelle, Wurzburg and other cities, and from 1857 to 1892 was Court conductor at Schwerin, where he greatly improved the musical conditions, and especially raised the standard of opera. From 1893 Schmitt was director of the Dreys sigsche Singakademie at Dresden. In 1893 he undertook the direction of the Teachers' Choral Society of Dresden. He died of an apoplectic stroke while conducting his own In Memoriam. He composed the operas, Trilby, Das Wundwasser, and Maienzauber; incidental music to plays; overtures, and other orchestral works; string quartets; piano trios, and other works for that instrument; and songs. He also arranged the fragments of Mozart's C minor mass into a complete work. His best composition was a festival cantata.