The New International Encyclopædia/Spohr, Louis

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SPOHR, spōr, Louis (1784-1859). A German composer and violinist, born at Brunswick. He studied there under Kunisch and Maucourt and in 1802 became a pupil of the celebrated Franz Eck. In 1805 he accepted the appointment of concertmeister at Gotha and in 1812 went to Vienna as leader at the Theater an der Wien, where he remained until 1815. From 1817 to 1819 he filled a similar position at Frankfort and in 1821 received a life appointment as Court conductor at Cassel. It was in connection with this last position that he won his greatest successes as a violinist, composer, and conductor; besides which he succeeded in bringing his orchestra to a pitch of perfection that earned it a world-wide reputation. In 1831 he completed his work, The Violin School, which has remained one of the standard works of instruction for that instrument. His oratorio Calvary received its first presentation on Good Friday, 1835. He was a prolific composer and wrote in all nearly 200 works. Most of his operas were little known outside of Germany, but his oratorios have been very popular in England and America, particularly Die letzten Dinge (The Last Judgment). As a composer of distinct individuality he ranks but little below the greatest representatives of German music. He died at Cassel. Consult: Autobiography (Cassel, 1860; Eng. trans., London, 1865); Schletterer, Louis Spohr, in Waldersee's Sammlung (Leipzig, 1881).