Ferdinand Hiller

Biography

Born: October 24, 1811   Died: May 11, 1885; Cologne, Germany  
Ferdinand Hiller was one of the leading German pianists of the generation of Franz Liszt. (In fact, he was born two days after Liszt and died only about a year before.) He was a productive composer, though his best work is in shorter forms. His father was a wealthy Jewish merchant of Frankfurt who sent him to study music when he showed unusual interest. His main piano teacher was Alois Schmitt. Hiller made his concert debut at the age of ten. A Read more number of leading musicians, including Spohr and Mendelssohn, took an interest in helping develop his career. It was on Mendelssohn's recommendation that he went to Weimar to become a pupil of Hummel, who took him along on a trip to Beethoven's deathbed. On one of these visits, Hiller snipped a lock of hair from the great composer, the rediscovery of which is recounted in the book Beethoven's Hair.

Hiller arrived in Paris in 1828, staying seven years and supporting himself as an organist, pianist, and teacher. He also promoted the most "advanced" composers of the time, such as Berlioz, Liszt, and Chopin. He conducted the Leipzig Gewandhaus and also conducted in Dresden and Düsseldorf. In 1850, he became city concertmaster of Cologne and stayed in that position until illness forced his retirement in 1884. During his tenure there, he reorganized the music school and made it one of the finest institutions in Germany. Hiller also excelled at organizing concert series, festivals, and competitions and at writing about contemporary music. Before his death, he was made a nobleman and added an aristocratic "von" to his name.

He composed an opera, Romilda, which was played in Milan without success, and other large-form works, but is best represented by his piano works. Robert Schumann, in his capacity as music teacher, remarked favorably on his mastery of formal techniques of music composition, but that his music as a whole "lacked that triumphant power which we are unable to resist." Read less
Browse 1-15 of 15 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Piano Phantoms / Michael Lewin
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92168 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Walter Niemann,  Sergei Lyapunov,  Edvard Grieg,  Carl Tausig  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Lewin
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  • 2.
    Chopin, Hiller, Liszt - Trois Amis A Paris / Tobias Koch
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 12255 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Ferdinand Hiller,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Tobias Koch
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  • 3.
    Ferdinand Hiller: Die Zerstorung Jerusalems, Op. 24
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 1202 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ferdinand Hiller
    Conductor:  Gregor Meyer
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  • 4.
    Ferdinand Hiller: Piano Works / Alexandra Oehler
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777584 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferdinand Hiller
    Performer:  Alexandra Oehler
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  • 5.
    Ferdinand Hiller: Lieder / Fulde, Raschka, Eckert, Plock
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 1013 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferdinand Hiller
    Performer:  Sarolta Boros Gyevi,  Nico Eckert,  Felix Plock,  Manja Raschka  ... 
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  • 6.
    Schumann: Sammlung Von Musik-stucken Alter Und Neuer Zeit
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777595-2 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Adolf Henselt,  Louis Spohr,  Ignaz Moscheles  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Kobow,  Cord Garben,  Klaus Sticken,  Johanna Stojkovic  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Helbich
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  • 7.
    Hiller: Solo Piano Music / Adrian Ruiz
    Label: Genesis Records   Catalog: 116/117 Release Date: 07/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferdinand Hiller
    Performer:  Adrian Ruiz
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  • 8.
    The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 45 - Hiller: Piano Concertos / Shelley
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67655 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferdinand Hiller
    Performer:  Howard Shelley
    Conductor:  Howard Shelley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Hyperion Schubert Edition - Songs by Schubert's Friends & Contemporaries
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 33051 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Ferdinand Hiller,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Padmore,  Graham Johnson,  Susan Gritton,  Ann Murray  ... 
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  • 10.
    Schubert: The Complete Songs
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 44201/40 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ludwig Berger  ... 
    Performer:  Graham Johnson,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Christine Schäfer,  Michael George  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Layton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holst Singers,  London Schubert Chorale,  New Company Singers
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  • 11.
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Lieder / Reimann, Reutter
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 67349 Release Date: 06/05/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Cornelius,  Gottfried von Einem,  Ernst Krenek,  Hans Erich Apostel  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Aribert Reimann,  Hermann Reutter
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  • 12.
    The Friends Of Schumann And Their Music Vol 2 / Weir, Et Al
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 39 Release Date: 02/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Ferdinand Hiller,  Theodor Kirchner,  Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel  ... 
    Performer:  Scott Weir
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  • 13.
    Chopin Und Seine Zeit / Clemens Kröger
    Label: Thorofon   Catalog: 2186 Release Date: 02/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Ferdinand Hiller,  Adolf Gutmann,  Stephen Heller  ... 
    Performer:  Clemens Kröger
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  • 14.
    The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 1 / Michael Ponti
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5064 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Frederic Kalkbrenner,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ferdinand Hiller  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Kann,  Michael Ponti,  Jerome Rose
    Conductor:  Heribert Beissel,  Pierre Cao,  Volke Schmidt-Gertenbach,  Othmar M. F. Mága
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg Symphony Orchestra,  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 15.
    The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 2 / Michael Ponti
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5065 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joseph Rheinberger,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Carl Reinecke,  Henry Charles Litolff  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Ponti
    Conductor:  Volke Schmidt-Gertenbach,  Pierre Cao,  Louis de Froment,  Othmar M. F. Mága
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica
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