Philipp Scharwenka

Philipp Scharwenka

Philipp Scharwenka

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Ludwig Philipp Scharwenka (February 16, 1847, Samter, Grand Duchy of Posen – July 16, 1917, Bad Nauheim) was a German composer and teacher of music. He was the older brother of Xaver Scharwenka.

Early training

He was born in Szamotuły , Grand Duchy of Posen. Like his younger brother Xaver he received his first intermittent musical instruction in Posen. After the closure of the Gymnasium (college) in 1865 he studied music theory together with his brother under Richard Wüerst and Heinrich Dorn at the new Musical Academy in Berlin where, from 1868, he himself was taken on as teacher of Theory and Composition. In this period his own first compositions appeared. In 1874 he brought out an overture and a symphony for the first time in a concert of his own.


His many teaching obligations notwithstanding, Philipp Scharwenka stood in the front line as a composer and was recognised as such during his lifetime. His compositions include three Symphonies, Symphonic Poems, a Violin concerto, some Choral works (of which Sakuntala became very famous), the 4-act opera Roland, as well as numerous instrumental works such as Sonatas, Quartets, Caprices and Dances. Many of the major conductors of the period, including Arthur Nikisch, Anton Seidl and Hans Richter, performed his orchestral works. He is still known for his...
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