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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » K » Kiel, Friedrich

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Friedrich Kiel (1821 - 1885)

Born on 7 October 1821 in Puderbach on the Lahn (Westphalia), Friedrich was the second of five children of the schoolmaster Jost Kiel. Though he learned the rudiments of music from his father, he was in large part self-taught. Something of a prodigy, he played the piano almost without instruction at the age of six, and by his thirteenth year he had composed much music. When the Kiel family moved to nearby Schwarzenau, a set of the young boy’s piano variations came to he attention of Prince Karl von Sayn-Wittgenstein at Berleburg. The prince was a music lover whose court boasted an orchestra of above average abilities, and in 1835 it was arranged that Kiel would study the violin with the court conductor. He soon joined the orchestra, and at the age of fifteen he appeared as soloist in a concerto by Viotti.

At the prince’s instigation Kiel received solid theoretical training from the renowned flautist Kaspar Kummer (1795-1870) at Coburg. The studies proved a stimulus for all sorts of compositions, which were played by the court orchestra. Around 1840 Kiel became the court conductor and the music teacher to the prince’s children.




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