Josef Gabriel Rheinberger

rheinbergerRheinberger was born March 17, 1839, at Vaduz, Lichtenstein, and died Munich, November 25, 1901.

When only seven years old he was organist at Vaduz Parish Church, and his first composition was performed the following year.

In 1851 Rheinberger entered the Munich Conservatory, eventually becoming professor of of pianoforte playing, and later, professor of composition at the institution.

When the Munich Conservatorium dissolved he was appointed “Repetitor” at the Court Theatre, from which he resigned in 1867.

He occupied several important positions in the musical world, and became famous as a teacher of composition and organ. He numbered a great many Americans among his pupils, many of whom, such as Dr. Horatio Parker, Professor G. W. Chadwick, and Henry Holden Huss, have achieved a foremost place in the musical world of this country.

As a composer Rheinberger wrote a large number of works of great musicianly value.

His twenty organ sonatas are declared by the writer in Grove’s Dictionary to be “undoubtedly the most valuable edition to organ music since the time of Mendelssohn. They are characterized by a happy blending of the modern romantic spirit with masterly counterpoint and dignified organ style”.

When the present conservatory was founded in Munich, Rheinberger was appointed professor of organ and composition,
a post he held until death. He was also given the title of “Royal Professor”.