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Carl V. Lachmund biographical sketch


Biographical Sketch

Carl Valentine Lachmund was born in Booneville, Missouri on March 27, 1853 and died in Yonkers, New York on February 20, 1928. In 1867 he went to Germany to study piano at the Cologne Conservatory, where he remained until 1871. There he studied with Heller, Gernsheim, Jensen, and Seiss, and also violin with Japha. Lachmund continued his studies in 1880 in Berlin with Xaver and Phillip Scharwenka, Keil, and Moszkowski. He also taught advanced classes at the Berlin Conservatory, and in 1880 toured with Wilhelmj as pianist.

In 1882 Lachmund went to Weimar to become a student of Franz Liszt. Here Lachmund became a friend and ardent admirer of the composer and pianist, studying with Liszt until 1884. Caroline Josephine Culbertson Lachmund (Carrie), Carl Lachmund's wife, studied harp in Weimar and also became a devotee and helper of Liszt. The Lachmunds wrote articles about Liszt, life in Weimar, and Wagner's operas for musical papers in the United States.

After the Liszt years the Lachmunds moved to Minneapolis, where Carl Lachmund privately taught piano from 1885 to 1891 and made repeated tours throughout the country, such as his 1887 tour as pianist and accompanist with Marianna Brandt. Lachmund also organized a children's orchestra in Minneapolis. After the death of Caroline Lachmund (born in Belvidere, Illinois, April 23, 1854, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 28, 1889) Carl Lachmund married Mathilde Filbert in 1890. Carl V. Lachmund had six children: Helen R., Franz C., and Otto C. with Caroline Lachmund, and Arnaud Filbert, Marjoire Gleyre and Thalia with Mathilde Lachmund.

Carl Lachmund moved to New York City in 1891, establishing the Lachmund Conservatory of Music where he remained as director for twenty-two years. In 1896 he founded the Women's String Orchestra Society, which he conducted for twelve years and gave concerts in Mendelssohn Hall. The Orchestra gave a request performance for President McKinley for the survivors of the battleship Maine. Lachmund also gave and conducted various other concerts. In 1912 Lachmund moved to Oregon because of bronchial trouble, where he became dean and director of the Music School of the University of Oregon in Eugene. He returned to New York in 1914, resided in Yonkers, and had a professional studio at Steinway Hall.

In the early 1920s Lachmund wrote a book entitled Living With Liszt about his student days Weimar, drawn chiefly from diaries which he kept during the lessons. He also composed musical works which are chiefly unpublished, works such as an Italian Suite, several concert overtures for orchestra, piano pieces (Valse Impromptu, A Woodland Lullaby and Concert Etude), and a trio for harp, violin, and cello, which was played in the Berlin Philharmonic Concert in 1884. Other works were played under the directorship of Theodore Thomas and Anton Seidl, and among Lachmund's more prominent pupils were Charles Gilbert Spross, Jason Bodewalt Lampe and Felix Arndt. Carl V. Lachmund was considered an accomplished pianist and teacher, an effective and successful conductor, was the only American who received a testimonial letter from Liszt.

-- The Carl V. Lachmund Collection, JPB 92-1, Music Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

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