Max Bruch

* 06.01.1838 in Cologne; ✝ 02.10.1920 in Berlin-Friedenau




Max Bruch wrote his first works while still a child, impressing the public by his Kölner Sinfonie in particular, composed when he was fourteen years old.  In 1852 Bruch was awarded a Frankfurt Mozart Foundation prize for one of his string quartets, which made it possible for him to study under the renowned conductor Ferdinand von Hiller and the composer Carl Reinecke. In 1858 he concluded his studies in Leipzig and accepted a few years later his first important position as conductor in Coblenz. After temporary positions in Sondershausen and Berlin he conducted the Philharmonic Society in Liverpool between 1880 and 1883, in which year he returned to Germany and devoted himself to directing the Breslauer Orchesterverein. From 1891, and for almost twenty years, he headed the Meisterschule for composition at the Berlin Academy.

The influence of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, whom Bruch greatly revered, made itself felt early on. Bruch received numerous distinctions and honorary titles, e.g. that of honorary doctor in Berlin and Cambridge. In Hermione Bruch set Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale to music. However, the opera was not widely appreciated, since the libretto, written by Emil Hopfer, was rather unsatisfactory.

Shakespeare Adaptations


Secondary Literature

Album pages with this person

Citation and Licence

Bruch, Max, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 26.09.2023)

This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.

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