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Julius Röntgen


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Julius Röntgen was born in Leipzig (Germany) on May 9, 1855. He died in Bilthoven (The Netherlands) on September 13, 1932.

He studied composition with Franz Lachner, harmony and counterpoint with Moritz Hauptmann and Ernst Richter, and piano with Louis Plaidy and Carl Reinecke.

From 1877 until 1925 he lived in Amsterdam. He was a piano teacher and from 1912 until 1924 headmaster at the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music. He was also conductor of the Amsterdam Toonkunstkoor (1886-1898). As a performer he gave many concerts and accompanied baritone Johannes Messchaert and cellist Pablo Casals, among others. Together with his eldest sons Julius and Engelbert, he formed the Röntgen Piano Trio. In 1925 he moved to Bilthoven. In this house, designed by his son Frants the architect, the Gaudeamus Foundation for contemporary music was established after the Second World War.

His first compositions were written in 1864 which marked the beginning of an extensive oeuvre (ca. 650 compositions). As a composer he belongs to the late-Romantic school. In his early works the influence of Schumann and his friend Brahms is apparent. His marriage to the Swedish violinist Amanda Maier and his friendship with Edvard Grieg explain the influence of Scandinavian music. He also found himself attracted to the folk music of several countries.


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