Friday, December 17, 2010

Julius Rontgen

Born: May 9, 1855
Leipzig, Germany
Died: September 13, 1932
Utrecht, Holland
Famous For: Composer and Pianist

Julius Rontgen was born on May 9, 1855, to Engelbert Rontgen and Pauline Klengel, in Leipzig, Germany. His father, a violinist, was Dutch, and his mother, a pianist, was German. From a very young age, Rontgen was good at composing and was taught by some of the best teachers. When he was fourteen years old, he was able to play some of his music for the famous composer, Franz Liszt. When he was twenty-two, Rontgen moved to Amsterdam, where he took a job as a piano teacher. He was an excellent pianist and became very close friends with Johannes Brahms, another famous composer of the time. Rontgen was able to play some of Brahms’ works for him during a concert in Holland. Julius Rontgen composed many songs in a wide variety of styles. He did much composing with old folk songs. Rontgen became well known and was a film composer. His love for folk songs shows through in many of his compositions. On his seventy-fifth birthday, he was given an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburg.
Rontgen died on September 13, 1932, having lived a life full of music. It is said that, “His vast body of work (around 650 compositions) encompasses symphonies, concertos, chamber music, songs, choruses and operas.” (Oron)
If it were not for Rontgen, Brahms, perhaps, may not have been as well known as he is and there would be a great many movies that would not have music. Rontgen lived a full and productive life and even in his old age he still continued to compose.

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