Louis Spohr (1784–1859) – Biography

Louis Spohr

Louis Spohr was accepted during his lifetime as one of the most important composers of early German Romanticism whose compositions covered all the major genres of that era.

He was born on 5th April 1784 in Brunswick, where he became a teenage member of the court orchestra and developed into the leading German violinist of his day after achieving overnight fame with a concert in Leipzig in December 1804.

He then held major directorships in Gotha (1805-12), Vienna (1813-15), Frankfurt (1817-19) and finally Kassel (1822-57) where he died on 22nd October 1859. Spohr also found time for numerous concert tours including St Petersburg, Italy, England (six times) and Paris.

As a conductor he had much to do with establishing the regular use of the baton, giving pioneering performances of Bach’ s St Matthew Passion, Beethoven’ s Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Schumann’s Spring Symphony and Wagner’s Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser. He was also a renowned teacher, training some two hundred violinists, conductors and composers.

See our sheet music editions of works by Louis Spohr.