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Ernst von Schuch

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Title: Ernst von Schuch  
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Subject: Der Rosenkavalier, Staatskapelle Dresden, Ernö Rapée, Manru, Albert Coates (musician)
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Ernst von Schuch

Ernst von Schuch

Ernst Edler von Schuch, born Ernst Gottfried Schuch (23 November 1846, Graz – 10 May 1914, Niederlößnitz/Radebeul Dresden) was an Austrian conductor who became famous through his working collaborations with Richard Strauss at the Dresden Court Opera.

Schuch first studied law but then turned to music, trained at first by E. Stolz. He studied in Graz and later in Vienna, briefly with Felix Otto Dessoff, and started his conducting career in 1867 as Kapellmeister at Lobe's Theatre in Breslau while the Breslau Opera was out of action following a fire.

Coincidentally, a father and son with the same family name Schuch had built and run the first opera theatre in Breslau 120 years earlier:[1][2]

There followed engagements in Würzburg (1868–1870), Graz (1870/1871) and Basle, until he was employed in 1872 by Pollini's Italian Opera for Dresden. There in 1872 he became Music director at the Court Opera, from 1873 Royal Kapellmeister with Julius Rietz, later with Franz Wüllner. In 1878, he was appointed Royal Professor. In 1882 he undertook the direction of the Court Opera with the title of privy councillor, and in 1889 became its general music director. From 1882 onward, he lived in Niederlößnitz in the Weintraubenstraße (in 1883 renamed at his own suggestion as Schuchstraße 15/17). In 1898, he was ennobled by the Austrian emperor and in 1899 was appointed to the Saxon Confidential Privy Council. His period of influence is known as the Schuch era in operatic performing history.

Tours as guest conductor in Berlin, Munich, Vienna and Paris aside, he remained committed to Dresden until 1914, and made its opera house there into one of the leading musical stages of Europe. He created a surpassing ensemble and enlarged the orchestra to make it one of the greatest in the world. Specializing in the music-dramas of Wagner, he also led the original productions of the Richard Strauss operas Feuersnot (1901), Salome (1905), Elektra (1909) and Der Rosenkavalier (1911) as well as the first German productions of operas by Puccini and Mascagni, and the Dresden première of Wagner's Parsifal on 24 March 1914, his last new production before his death on 10 May. Also highly valued as a nonoperatic conductor, he was particularly known in the concert hall for his renditions of the orchestral works of Felix Draeseke and Strauss.

He married coloratura soprano Clementine von Schuch-Proska (Klementine Procházka) (1850-1932), who became an honorary member of Dresden's Royal Theatre Company. Their daughter Liesel von Schuch sang in Dresden (from 1914 on) and Vienna.


Ernst Edler von Schuch conducting Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss, 1912. Oil painting by Robert Sterl, (Old National Gallery, Berlin)
  • A. Eaglefield-Hull, A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians (Dent, London 1924)
  • P. Sakolowsky, E. Schuch (1901).
  • Gerhard M. Dienes (Ed.), „mit mir...“ Ernst von Schuch (1846–1914). Ein Grazer als Generalmusikdirektor in Dresden. Exhibition Catalogue 1999. (Graz City Museum, Graz 1999), ISBN 3-900764-20-4
  • E. Krause, "Richard Strauss, Ernst von Schuch und Dresden." In: Blätter der Staatstheater Dresden, 1963/64
  • Richard Strauss/Ernst von Schuch: Richard Strauss - Ernst von Schuch. Ein Briefwechsel (An exchange of letters). Edited by Gabriella Hanke Knaus. (= Veröffentlichungen der Richard-Strauss-Gesellschaft (Offerings of the Richard Strauss Society); Band 16). (Henschel-Verlag, Berlin 1999). ISBN 3-89487-329-9
  • Große Kreisstadt Radebeul (Ed.), Stadtlexikon Radebeul (Historisches Handbuch für die Lößnitz, 2005). ISBN 3-938460-05-9


  1. ^ Erika Fischer-Lichte History of European Drama and Theatre Page 150 2002 "After Schuch was brutally rejected by the city council in the merchant city, Frankfurt, because of bitter controversy between religious leaders, he succeeded in gaining citizen's rights in Breslau in 1754. He built a theatre there on his own land, and performed regularly from 1755 to 1764."
  2. ^ North German Opera in the Age of Goethe - Page 83 Thomas Bauman - 1985 "Breslau in Silesia offered German companies an attractive alternative to Leipzig or Berlin. Like them, it could support a company from autumn ... the charming name Theater on the Cold Ashes. Schuch brought the first Hiller operas to Breslau in 1770, and his successor Johann Christian Waser introduced many more. In addition, Breslau saw the premieres of three new operas of its own in 1771 and 1772. "

External links

  • Literature of and about Ernst von Schuch in the Catalogue of the German National Library [2]
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