Born: October 24, 1877; Vyborg, Russia
Died: October 22, 1899; Locarno, Switzerland
Ernst Mielck was born to German parents in Viipuri, Finland, which today is Vyborg, Russia. Mielck began his course of study in music at the age of ten, specializing in the piano, but picking up composition as well by his 14th summer, while studying at the Stern Conservatory at Berlin. In 1895, Mielck began a three-year stint as a student of composer Max Bruch. In 1897, Mielck's Symphony in F minor was first heard in Helsinki under conductorRead more Robert Kajanus; it was repeated in Berlin the following year, along with Mielck's piano concerto with the composer as soloist. Mielck was reputedly an accomplished pianist who toured successfully throughout Finland giving concerts primarily of his own music. Unfortunately for both Mielck and for music, his success was short lived, as he contracted tuberculosis and died just two days shy of his 22nd birthday. Mielck has been called the "Finnish Schubert" and referred to as "Max Bruch's favorite pupil," and yet others have speculated as to what might have happened to Sibelius if the serious competition Mielck represented had been allowed to mature. Nonetheless, Mielck was fairly productive for a composer so short lived; in addition to the symphony and piano concerto, there is a Konzertstück for violin and orchestra, another for piano and orchestra, two large works for chorus and orchestra, two overtures and an orchestral suite, two string quartets and a trio, and several piano pieces and songs. Comparisons to other composers vis à vis Mielck are common in what little critical literature there is about him, but perhaps his closest kinship is found in a company related rather more statistically than stylistically -- like Julius Reubke and Guillaume Lekeu, Mielck got off to a brilliant start with unique ideas only to perish before he had a chance to build a reputation upon them. Read less
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