Week 5 update: Julius, Jr.
First off, I want to welcome all the new backers from this week, and thank everyone again for the generous support. Thanks to you, we're very close to 50% funded, with 31 days left. Also thanks to the Journal Sentinal and Strad Magazine for their coverage.
After last week's update, I thought it might be interesting to explore the thread of the violin's life through the Röntgen family after Engelbert Sr., and Julius (the composer who will be featured on the recording). I mentioned in last week's update that Julius, Jr. played the "Lipinski" for many years, including his time in the Kneisel Quartet, but I think some further background might be of interest.
Julius (Jr.) was born in 1881, the eldest son of Julius (the composer) and his first wife, Amanda Maier. His teachers included Joseph Joachim and Carl Flesch, and he eventually took the position of concertmaster in Düsseldorf. He also made concert tours as a soloist in Germany, Holland and Scandinavia, and was invited by Franz Kneisel to join the quartet in 1907.
It is difficult to overstate the influence of the Kneisel Quartet- here is an excerpt from Victor Danek's dissertation on the quartet (Indiana University, 1962):
"The Kneisel Quartet was the first string quartet of major importance in the US. It was the most active, the most renowned, and had the greatest influence on the development of chamber music in the US from 1885-1917. Could trace its heritage directly back to Beethoven via the lineage of teachers. That went from Jacob Gruen and Joseph Helmesberger Jr to Joseph Boehm; then to Joesph Mayseder, who with his own teacher Joseph Schuppanzigh played Beethoven's quartets under Beethoven. Other members also could trace a musical lineage to Beethoven."
And they were busy. In 1907-08 alone they gave 74 concerts, without the option of air travel. During his time with the quartet, Julius Jr. also taught at the Institute of Musical Art, the predecessor to Juilliard. His tenure in the quartet lasted until 1912, and is considered the most active in the quartet's existence. Also notable that the quartet played in the state of Wisconsin at least 10 times during this period, with five separate appearances in Milwaukee.
In 1912 he returned to Amsterdam and eventually became Director of the Conservatory. He held that position and continued to frequently play chamber music until his retirement in 1945. He died in 1951.
He played the "Lipinski" until approximately 1929; the picture below shows him with it.
Sincere thanks again for all the support. Please continue to post/tweet about this project- it's made a huge difference. More next week.
With much gratitude,
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