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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Jochum, Eugen

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Eugen Jochum (1902 - 1987)


Eugen Jochum was born into a family with a strong musical and Catholic tradition: his father was both an organist and an active local conductor, directing a wide variety of music. He later recalled: ‘We would perform a Palestrina mass in the morning and The Merry Widow in the afternoon… such were my first musical experiences.’ The young Jochum participated in these activities, discovering early that he had perfect pitch, and by the age of eight he was playing the organ in the magnificent Baroque basilica of Ottobeuren. He enrolled simultaneously in 1914 at the Academy of Music in Augsburg, to study piano and organ, and at the local gymnasium or high school. During this period Jochum discovered the music of Bach, and in 1918, after playing through a vocal score of Tristan und Isolde given to him by a friend, realised that his future life could only be as a musician. Having heard Bruno Walter conduct Tristan and Parsifal in Munich in 1920, two years later Jochum enrolled in the Munich Academy of Music to study organ and composition. While at the Academy he conducted a student orchestra, and so came to the notice of Siegmund von Hausegger, who invited him to join his conducting class: ‘Hausegger taught me everything about musical structure and the key to unlock a symphony.’

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Darius Milhaud - L'Orestie d'Eschyle



 

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