Leipzig Hornplayer (1911)


The above photograph by Leipzig photographer Georg Brokesch, is stamped 1911 in the lower right corner of the portrait. The horn player is not identified but is probably a member of the prestigious Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig. In 1911 there were seven members of the horn section:

Max Otto Bruder (1868 –  1962),  1894 –  1932
Albin Frehse (1878  – 1973),  1903 – 1939
Oscar Frei (18?? – 19??), 1904 – 1931
Oswald Fritsche (1866 – 19??), 1889 –  1929
Bernhard Eduard Müller (1842 – 19?? ), 1876 – 1920
Arno Rudolf (1866 – 1928), 1884 – 1924
Richard Schaller (1886  – 1951), 1911 – 1944

Of these Richard Schaller is the most likely candidate since his long tenure with the orchestra began in the same year as the photograph. Mr. Schaller was born on  September 9, 1886 in Markneukirchen. He  received his education first in Markneukirchen, then in Bitterfeld (near Leipzig) where a Mr. Lux was the Stadmusikdirektor. From 1904 to 1910 he was a military musician in Wittenberg and then a became a student of Arno Rudolph, principal hornist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. A yeear later he joined the orchestra as third horn on May 1, 1911. Although performing as the orchestra's third horn Mr. Schaller was selected as the horn player for  the Leipzig Gewandhaus Wind Quintet with which he made several recordings:
Hindemith "Kleine Kammermusik" op.24 (Polydor 66376/7, recorded in October 1924)
Klughart: Quintet, (Polydor 65796/7)
Laurischkus: Lethonia, Suite for Five Wind Instruments, Op. 33 and Ambrosius: Suite for Five Wind Instruments, Op. 57 (Polydor 66373/5A)
In 1944 Mr. Schaller retired from the horn section but continued playing in the second violin section until his death on May 4, 1951 in Leipzig.

The horn shown in the photo has not been identified. Even though double horns had been introduced over ten years earlier this is a single horn in F or lower hey. In 1890 Gewandhaus hornist Bernhard Edward Müller had become a local representative for Ed. Kruspe of Erfurt. Then in 1894, after a very detailed and impartial audition process, a full complement of new brass instruments had been selected for use by the orchestra including six horns made by the Graslitz firm of Bohland & Fuchs. This horn has some secondary characteristics of Kruspe but not enough to positively identify it.

Very special thanks to Robert Ostermeyer for providing biographical information on Richard Schaller and names and dates for the other Gewandhaus hornplayers in 1911. Please visit his publication site and horn history site.



Forman, Frank,  Acoustic Chamber Music Sets (Part 2 of 2),  Sixth Draft, rec.music.classical, May 4, 1994

Pizka, Hans. Hornisten-Lexikon / Dictionary for Hornists. Kirchheim b. München, Hans Pizka Edition, 1986. ISBN 3922409040

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