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|Born||August 30, 1816|
|Died||March 5, 1896 (aged 79)|
Adolf Reichel (born on August 30, 1816 in Tursnitz (Turznice in Polish), West Prussia; died March 5, 1896 in Bern) was a German-Swiss orchestral conductor and composer.
Adolf Reichel was a son of an East Elbian German landowning family in West Prussia..
He studied composition with Siegfried Dehn in Berlin, piano with Ludwig Berger (composer) and instrumentation with Carl Gottlieb Reissiger in Dresden. He found his first job as music teacher to the young hereditary prince Georg II (Sachsen-Meiningen). He travelled to Vienna, Bern and Brussels and made a living as a piano teacher in Paris from 1844, where he associated with George Sand and Frédéric Chopin. In 1842, he met the professional revolutionary and anarchist Mikhail Bakunin in Dresden, with whom he had a lifelong friendship. In his circle in Paris he met opposition figures such as Georg Herwegh, Gottfried Kinkel (writer), Karl Marx, Georg Weber (physician), Vasily Petrovich Botkin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Richard Wagner, without himself taking an active part in the 1848 Revolution. In 1850, he and Mariya Kasparovna Ern (1823-1916), whom he had met as an associate of Alexander Herzen, married. They had four sons, among which the Swiss judge and politician Alexander Reichel (politician).
In 1857 he went to the private Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden Konservatorium as a composition teacher and also directed the Dreyssigsche Singakademie there. In view of the political climate in Dresden, which was perceived as repressive, he followed a call as music director to Bern in 1867. He was naturalised in Oberburg BE in 1869. Until 1884/1888 he was the director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra, the Musikschule Konservatorium Bern der Bernischen Musikgesellschaft (BMG) and the choir of the Cäcilienverein in Bern. He composed piano and choral songs and larger choral and orchestral works, including a German Mass, symphonies and overtures. Of his approximately 600 works in the style of the Classical and early Romantic periods, many were printed during his lifetime by Bote & Bock, Breitkopf & Härtel, Simon Richault and other music publishers.
Most of his compositive legacy, which has now been reconstructed, is kept in the library of the Bern University of the Arts, and his handwritten memoirs in the Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis in Amsterdam.
- There also appears to be an incorrect indication about his birth year, 1820.
- Max Sommerhalder: Der Klassizist und der Revolutionär. Der Schweizer Komponist Adolf Reichel war der engste Freund des Anarchisten Michail Bakunin. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 29 October 2016, p. 27
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