Fritz Busch and Dresden

The Busch Family



Mother Henriette and father Wilhelm Busch with their sons Fritz,Willi, Adolf, Hermann and Heinrich
© Photo from the booklet – Max-Reger-Institut / BrüderBuschArchiv


Born in Siegen on March 13, 1890, Fritz Busch was the son of a violin maker and fiddler and grew up in a musical atmosphere. As a boy he was already proficient in playing several orchestral in- struments (rather like Paul Hindemith, he was later able to demonstrate to musicians in his orchestras how to play what they claimed was “unplayable”, and at the age of forty he took clarinet lessons with the legendary Dresden solo clarinettist Karl Schütte).

Busch-Familie for web

Brothers and sister: Willi, Adolf, Fritz and Elisabeth in Siegen, 1898
© Photo from the booklet – Max-Reger-Institut – BrüderBuschArchiv

As a youngster he travelled around his native North Rhine-Westphalia with his father, playing at dances and other events in the villages – a rigorous schooling which demanded extreme versatility. Two of his brothers also took up careers in music: Adolf soon being regarded the best violinist in Germany, while Hermann was an esteemed cellist; together with Fritz at the piano, they performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Dresden. The third brother Willi made a name for himself as an actor. As a pupil of the celebrated conductor Fritz Steinbach, at the age of sixteen Fritz Busch recei- ved a scholarship for the Cologne Conservatory, from which he graduated at the age of nineteen. He immediately took up a conducting post in Ri- ga, became Kapellmeister to the court in Bad Pyrmont at the age of twenty, was choir director of the musical society in Gotha at twenty-one, became director of music in Aachen at twenty-two and at twenty-eight succeeded Max von Schillings as court Kapellmeister in Stuttgart. 


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Fritz Busch • A multimedia portrait of a music-maker

  1/15    Introduction
    2/15    The Busch Family
  3/15    “He is the right one!”
  4/15    In search of great voices
  5/15    Staatskapelle concerts
  6/15    Correspondence between Richard Strauss and Fritz Busch [only in German]
  7/15    First concert tours
  8/15    First Gramophone recordings 1923  “Played into the horn”

  9/15    In Front of a microphone for the first time 1926
10/15   “On Air!”
11/15    Cinema film with photographic sound “Fritz Busch conducts Richard Wagner”
12/15    “Over!”
13/15    Only as a guest
14/15    Welcome home: Sinopoli’s “homage”
15/15    FACTS AND FIGURES The Busch era  [only in German]