German composer, conductor and violinist Ludwig Spohr was born in Braunschweig on 5 April 1784. Encouraged by musical parents, he took violin lessons, and was later helped by the Duke of Brunswick, who financed lessons with Franz Eck. Spohr's first break came with an 1804 Leipzig concert and discovery by critic Friedrich Rochlitz.
From 1805 until 1812 he was concertmaster at Gotha, and he later conducted in Vienna, was opera director in Frankfurt and then (on Weber's suggestion), director of music at Kassel, where he died on 22 October 1859.
He wrote fifteen violin concertos and works in most other genres, including opera, practiced freemasonry and was friendly with Beethoven. Outside of Germany, he was known as Louis Spohr.
A selection of M&V articles about Louis Spohr
CD Spotlight. Superbly Played - Nineteenth century music for bassoon and piano, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'For bassoonists, this disc is indispensable. Bravo.'
CD Spotlight. Spohr on the Cheap - Symphonies 2 and 9, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... much to enjoy in the second symphony ...'
CD Spotlight. Barnstorming Virtuosity - The Rochdale Town Hall organ, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... played with absorbing panache by Byram-Wigfield ...'
CD Spotlight. Seldom Bridged - Tom Collier plays vibraphone and marimba, highly recommended by Howard Smith. '... hear classics from a new, fascinating standpoint ...'
CD Spotlight. Positively Spellbinding - Music for clarinet, piano and cello, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a fine recording ...'
CD Spotlight. Lyrical Powers - Orchestral music by Louis Spohr, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Howard Shelley and the Swiss orchestra clearly relish this unusual assignment.'
CD Spotlight. Utterly Absorbing - A sampler from Cedille Records, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... top quality standards.'
CD Spotlight. Virtuoso Duo - Performances by the Elaris Duo, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... all the passion, drama and integrity one could want.'
CD Spotlight. Melodic Impact - Music by Spohr, Rolla and Kalliwoda, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... seasoned insights and faultless empathy.'
Record box - Count me out. Basil Ramsey trying Spohr