Johann Joseph Abert

Biography

Born: September 20, 1832; Kochowitz, Germany   Died: April 1, 1915; Stuttgart, Germany  
Johann Joseph Abert was a double bassist, conductor, and composer whose entire musical career was centered in Stuttgart, Germany. Educated at the Prague Conservatory under Peter Josef von Lindpainter, Abert joined the court orchestra in Stuttgart in 1853 as a double bassist, moving up to the position of conductor in 1867, where he remained until 1888. His son, Hermann Abert, became a renowned musicologist, as did his granddaughter, Anna Amalie Read more Abert.

Abert was a well-respected composer in his day who worked in an arch-Romantic style derived from the example of Felix Mendelssohn that by the time of his opera Ekkehard (1878) had adopted some elements of Wagnerian style as well. He composed five operas, of which Astorga (1866) was the most popular. Abert also composed six numbered symphonies in addition to his "musical sea picture in the form of a symphony," Columbus, Op. 31. This latter work, in addition to his virtuoso pieces for double bass (including a concerto), account for Abert's tenuous hold onto posterity. After his death at age 82 in 1915, his son published a biography of Abert that included a thematic catalog. The younger Abert also donated his father's music manuscripts to the Württemburgische Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart, where they continue to reside, and there is even a Johann Joseph Abert Society in Germany. Read less

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