Heinrich Karl Hermann De Ahna

Heinrich Karl Hermann De Ahna was born June 22, 1835, at Vienna, where he was trained as a violinist by Mayseder. He also received instruction from Mildner in Prague, and was already at the age of twelve making public appearances in Vienna, London, etc. Two years later he received the appointment of Chamber Virtuoso to the Duke of Coburg Gotha, but in 1851 an entire change came over his manner of life. He forsook the musical for the military career, joined the Austrian army as a cadet, and remain a soldier until the close of the disastrous Italian campaign in 1859, when he returned to his musical studies. Art was certainly the gainer by his return. In due time he became a soloist of repute, and violinist in the much frequented Trio Concerts given by him in conjunction with Barth the pianist and Hausmann the violoncellist; but he is chiefly known to fame as second violin in the Joachim Quarter, a position for which he was not only fitted by refinement of style, and musical knowledge, but also by his quite remarkable faculty of playing up to the leader. It is said that, in parallel passages, it was at times difficult to discern which of the two was playing. Amongst the posts held by him at Berlin were that of leader of the Royal orchestra and professor at the Hochschule under Joachim. He died in Berlin Nov. 1, 1892. His sister, Eleanora De Ahna, was a dramatic singer of great promise, fulfilling mezza soprano roles at the court opera. Born Jan. 8, 1838, she died at the early age of twenty seven on May 10, 1865.