Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Neuendorff, Adolph Heinrich Anton Magnus

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NEUENDORFF, Adolph Heinrich Anton Magnus, musician, b. in Hamburg, Germany, 13 June, 1843. He came to New York with his parents in 1854. Two years later he had instruction on the violin from Joseph Weinlich. After serving as chorus-master and member of an orchestra before he was sixteen, he studied theory and composition with Gustav Schilling, under whose direction he also made his first appearance as a pianist at Dodworth hall in 1859. After a two-years' trip to South America, he became conductor of the orchestra at the German theatre in Milwaukee, Wis., and in 1864 was chorus-master of Carl Anschütz's German opera company. Later he succeeded Anschütz as conductor, and in 1867 became music-director of the New Stadt theatre, New York. In 1870-'1 he brought a German company from Europe, produced “Tannhäuser” and “Lohengrin,” the latter being seen for the first time in America. In 1872 he brought Theodor Wachtel to this country, and, with Carl Rosa, gave a season of Italian opera at the Academy of music. In that year he also established the Germania theatre in New York, of which he was manager for eleven years. During that time he was also organist of a church and conductor of a choral society. In 1875 he gave a season of German opera with Wachtel and Madame Pappenheim, conducted the Beethoven centennial concerts, and went to the first Wagner festival at Bayreuth as correspondent for the “New Yorker Staats-Zeitung.” In 1878 Neuendorff succeeded Theodore Thomas as conductor of the New York philharmonic. In 1881 he transferred his German theatre to the building that had been vacated by Lester Wallack; but the change proved disastrous, and he lost a fortune in two years. He has directed operas and concerts in all the large cities of the Union. His compositions include two symphonies and three operas, “The Rat-Charmer of Hamelin” (1880); “Don Quixote” (1882); “Prince Waldmeister” (1887); and numerous other instrumental and vocal works.