The New International Encyclopædia/Wilhelm, Karl
WILHELM, vĭl'hĕlm, Karl (1815-73). A German musician, composer of “Die Wacht am Rhein.” He was born at Schmalkalden, studied at Cassel, under Spohr, and at Frankfort under André and Aloys Schmitt. He was director of the Crefeld Liedertafel from 1839 to 1864, and composed numerous male choruses for it. “Die Wacht am Rhein” was first sung by a large chorus on the occasion of the silver wedding of the Prince of Prussia (afterwards William I.), in 1854, but did not attain its wide popularity until the outbreak of the Franco-German War in 1870. Wilhelm received the title of ‘Royal Prussian Musical Director’ in 1860, and four years later received a gold medal from Queen (later Empress) Augusta and was granted a pension of 3000 marks. He died at Schmalkalden.