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 Josef Foerster

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Josef Foerster

  • Birth 30 Dec 1859 Prague, Okres Praha, Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
  • Death 29 May 1951 Novy Vestec, Okres Praha-vychod, Stredocesky (Central Bohemia), Czech Republic
  • Burial Prague, Okres Praha, Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
  • Memorial ID 23067744

Composer. A Czech by birth, he was one of the last representatives of the late German Romantic school. The son of composer Josef Foerster (1833 - 1907), he was born in Prague and studied at its conservatory and at the Prague Organ School. In 1888 he married star soprano Bertha Lauterer and accompanied her to Hamburg (1893) and Vienna (1903), where she was engaged by the State Opera companies. He wrote six operas as vehicles for her, including his biggest hit, the naturalistic "Eva" (1899). As a leading European critic he was noted for his support of new music, especially that of his close friend Gustav Mahler, though his own musical style remained resolutely conservative. After Lauterer's retirement in 1918 the couple returned to Prague and Foerster accepted teaching posts at the conservatory and university. In 1946 he was given the official title "National Composer of Czecholslovakia", which he retained even after the Communist takeover two years later. He never stopped working and left a string quartet unfinished when he died at 91. Since then he has been overshadowed by his great contemporary, Leos Janacek, and only a few of his 300 compositions are heard today. Among them are the popular Woodwind Quintet (1909) and the Symphony No. 4, "Easter Eve" (1905), considered the best of his five symphonies. His other works include the symphonic suite "Cyrano de Bergerac" (1903), "My Youth" for orchestra (1905), the "Festive Overture" (1907), the Violin Concerto No. 1 (1911), five string quartets, three piano trios and a huge body of choral music to German and Czech texts. "Eva" has been occasionally revived and is available on CD.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 24 Nov 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23067744
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Josef Foerster (30 Dec 1859–29 May 1951), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23067744, citing Olsanske hrbitovy, Prague, Okres Praha, Prague Capital City, Czech Republic ; Maintained by Find A Grave .