A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Kummer, Friedrich

1541283A Dictionary of Music and Musicians — Kummer, FriedrichThomas Percy Hudson


KUMMER, Friedrich August, a great violoncellist, born at Meiningen Aug. 5 1797. His father (an oboist) migrated to Dresden, where the lad learnt the cello under Dotzauer. It was his ambition to enter the King's band, but as there was then no vacancy for a cellist, he took up the oboe, and soon attained such proficiency as to obtain the desired appointment, in Nov. 1814. In 1817 he again took up his original instrument, and in time became known as the most accomplished virtuoso in Germany. With the exception of occasional musical tours, principally in Germany and Italy, his career has been confined to Dresden. In 1864 he celebrated the 5oth anniversary of his appointment as a member of the Dresden orchestra, after which he retired on a pension, and was succeeded by F. Grützmacher. He died at Dresden, May 22, 1879. Kummer's tone was at once sweet and powerful, and his command over difficulties very great. His playing however was characterised in a remarkable degree by repose, and he is described as never having been excited even when playing the most passionate or difficult passages. Kummer has been a voluminous writer for his instrument. 163 of his works have appeared in print, among which are Concertos, Fantasias, a good Violoncello School, etc. He has also composed some 200 entractes for the Dresden Theatre. Among his many distinguished pupils, Goltermann of Stuttgart, and Cossmann of Wiesbaden may be named.