Ernst Ludwig Gerber - Encyclopedia




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ERNST LUDWIG GERBER (1746-1819), German musician, author of a famous dictionary of musicians, was born at Sondershausen in the principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen on the 29th of September 1746. His father, Henry Nicolas Gerber (1702-1775), a pupil of J. S. Bach, was an organist and composer of some distinction, and under his direction Ernst Ludwig at an early age had made great progress in his musical studies. In 1765 he went to Leipzig to study law, but the claims of music, which had gained additional strength from his acquaintanceship with J. A. Hiller, soon came to occupy almost his sole attention. On his return to Sondershausen he was appointed music teacher to the children of the prince, and in 1775 he succeeded his father as court organist. Afterwards he devoted much of his time to the study of the literature and history of music, and with this view he made himself master of several modern languages. His Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkiinstler appeared in 1 79 0 and 1792 in two volumes; and the first volume of what was virtually an improved and corrected edition of this work was published in 1810 under the title Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkiinstler, followed by other three volumes in 1812, 1813 and 1814. Gerber also contributed a number of papers to musical periodicals, and published several minor musical compositions. He died at Sondershausen on the 30th of June 1819.

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