Zeckwer, Richard



Eminent theorist and pianist; born in Stendal, Prussia. He studied at the Leipsic Conservatory under Hauptmann, Richter, Reinecke and Papperitz for theory and composition and under Moscheles and Papperitz for piano and organ. He graduated in 1869, at which time he came to America and settled in Philadelphia, teaching in the newly established Musical Academy there from 1870 to 1876, when he became its director, a position he still holds. From 1871 to 1878 he was organist of St. Vincent de Paul's, Germantown, and from 1878 to 1880 of Philadelphia Cathedral. He has gained a wide reputation as a lecturer on acoustics, having given lectures before musical societies at Franklin Institute; also at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. He invented the Zeckwer metronome and a machine to measure the muscular strength of the fingers. He also originated the operation for liberating the ring finger for the perfection of technique. Among his compositions are songs and piano-pieces, and two overtures, one for orchestra and the other a festival overture to Bride of Messina.