Joseph Joachim Raff

Joseph Joachim Raff was born in Lachen, on the lake of Zurich, Switzerland, May 27, 1822.

He was self-taught in composition and violin playing. In 1843 he sent some MSS. to Mendelssohn, who recommended them for publication. After Mendelssohn’s death in 1847, Raff entered at Stuttgart upon a course of severe study. Here he began the composition of “Konig Alfred”, an opera that was produced at Weimar (where he resided from 1850) under Liszt’s direction with entire success. IN 1856 Raff removed to Wiesbaden, where he gained high reputation as a teacher. He remained here till 1877, when he was made director of the Hoch Conservatory at Frankfort-on-the-Main. This office he held until his death. Raff’s published compositions number over 200, including ten symphonies, quartets, concertos, sonatas, and songs. His work in uneven, but at its best displays great fertility of invention and remarkable technical skill.

He died in Frankfort, June 25, 1882.