A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Merk, Joseph

1684366A Dictionary of Music and Musicians — Merk, JosephThomas Percy Hudson


MERK, Joseph, a distinguished Austrian violoncellist, born at Vienna in 1795 [App. p.717 "Jan. 18"]. His first musical studies were directed to singing, the guitar, and especially to the violin, which last instrument he was obliged to abandon (according to Fétis) in consequence of an accident to his arm. He then took to the cello, and under the tuition of an excellent master, named Schindlöckers, speedily acquired great facility on the instrument. After a few years of desultory engagements he settled at Vienna as principal cellist at the Opera (1818), professor at the newly founded Conservatorium (1823), and Kammervirtues to the Emperor (1834). He died at Vienna in June 1852 [App. p.717 "June 16"]. He was much associated with Mayseder, and was often called the Mayseder of the violoncello.

His compositions for his instrument are numerous and of merit:—Concertos, Variations, Fantasias, Polonaises, etc., and especially 20 Exercises (op. 11), and 6 grand Studies (op. 20), which are valuable contributions to the répertoire of the instrument.