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Composition: Orientalische Phantasie

Composer: Rauchenecker Georg Wilhelm

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Georg Wilhelm Rauchenecker (8 March 1844, in Munich – 17 July 1906, in Elberfeld, today part of Wuppertal) was a German composer, conductor and violinist.
Georg Wilhelm Rauchenecker was born in Munich on 8 March 1844; he was the first child of Jakob Rauchenecker (1815–1876), an official musician of the city, and Rosina Crescenz Rauchenecker, née Wening (1815–1876) and was baptised a Catholic two days later at St Peter's in Munich. As a young boy he was sent by his father to his uncle, Georg Wening, who had been pastor of the parish of Thalheim (pop. 260) near Erding since 1855. It is possible that Rauchenecker was expected to follow the same career path as his uncle. After this he attended the King Maximilian Grammar School in Munich and here, at the age of eleven, he played first violin accompanying the church choir. Rauchenecker received comprehensive musical instruction in both piano and organ from Theodor Lachner (1798–1877), in the violin from Joseph Walter (1831–1875), in counterpoint from August Baumgartner (1814–1864) and in composition from Franz Lachner (1803–1890). From 1869 he himself gave violin, piano and organ lessons, as well as teaching harmony, counterpoint, fugue and the theory of musical form, and orchestration. Max Hieber, who later on was the court conductor at Munich, was one of his pupils during this period.
On 1 August 1860 Georg Wilhelm Rauchenecker received a passport to travel to France: initially he went and worked as first violin at the Grand Théâtre in Lyon. In 1862 he was appointed conductor in Aix-en-Provence and then in 1864 he took the post of chief conductor of the theatre orchestra in Carpentras. Here, in 1866, he married Elisabeth Antoinette Emilie Fournial (1842–1870), a lecturer. Their twins, Alban and Margarethe were born in Carpentras on 8 September 1867. In 1868 Rauchenecker accepted a position in Avignon as chief conductor of the opera orchestra and director of the conservatoire. After being expelled from France as a German citizen when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, he settled in Switzerland.
Shortly after arriving in Zürich, his wife Elisabeth died: she was only 28 years old. Rauchenecker earned his living as a piano teacher and was also a member of the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich. He was introduced to Richard Wagner by his future brother-in-law, Oskar Kahl, the concertmaster of the Zürich City Orchestra. On 21 December 1870 the first rehearsals for the performance of "Siegfried Idyll" took place in the foyer of the Old Theatre in Zürich; the piece was subsequently given its first performance on the steps of the house at Tribschen near Lucerne on 25 December 1870, conducted by Richard Wagner – the occasion being his wife Cosima's birthday. Rauchenecker was one of the 15 musicians in the small orchestra. Not long after this, on 31 December 1870, a series of 7 quartet evenings began at the Wagners' house, with Oskar Kahl (1st violin), Georg Rauchenecker (2nd violin), Hans Richter (viola) und Hermann Ruhoff (cello) rehearsing string quartets by Beethoven.
In 1871, Rauchenecker was appointed director of music at Lenzburg where he was discovered by Dr. Jacob Heinrich Ziegler-Sulzer (1798–1882), a physician and musical patron from Winterthur.
In the spring of 1873 he converted to Protestantism as his second wife was a Protestant. The marriage to Anna Karolina Ulrica Kempin (1845–1904) took place at the Diaconal Church in Neuminster (Zürich).
On 29 October 1873 Rauchenecker, having been proposed by Ziegler-Sulzer, was elected to the post of head of music in Winterthur and, from the beginning of December 1873, he was also director of the School of Music there. In the ten years which followed he had a decisive influence upon the musical life of the city.
From 1873 to 1876 he conducted the men's choir called "Good Cheer" and in 1875 the Frauenfeld men's choir.
On 3 April 1876 Rauchenecker's father Jakob died in Winterthur; then, on 18 February 1877, his daughter Helene was born. In 1878 he took over the post of organist in the Reformed City Church from Julius Buckel. His daughter Elsa was born on 28 January 1880.
In 1880 Rauchenecker, together with U. Ruckstuhl, opened a music shop in Winterthur. When he left the city, his departure was marked by a concert given on 13 March 1884.
On 30 March 1884 was the day Rauchenecker moved to Berlin to take up the conductorship of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, then located in Bernburger Strasse in the district of Kreuzberg. He attained this position thanks to the extraordinarily favourable reception given to his Symphony in F minor which he had performed in Berlin in October 1883. He conducted his first symphony concert as early as 30 April that year. In addition, he worked as a piano teacher at the Stern Conservatoire and also took practices with small ensembles there.
After a brief stay in Kassel, Rauchenecker moved to Barmen in the early summer of 1885. He then took over the Orchestral Society there, remaining until December 1887 when he became conductor of the Elberfeld Band (since 1929 the Wuppertal Band). In 1889 he founded a music school in Elberfeld. Among its students were the trombonist Joseph Franz Serafin Alschausky (1879–1948) and the composer Gustav Adolf Uthmann (1867–1920).
From 1892 to 1893 he conducted the men's choral society called "The German Singers' Circle". 1902 Rauchenecker was appointed "City Conductor".
His second wife, Anna, died in Elberfeld on 2 January 1904. In 1905 Rauchenecker was accorded the title of "Royal Prussian Director of Music".
Georg Wilhelm Rauchenecker died of pneumonia in Elberfeld on 17 July 1906.
Rauchenecker composed numerous works in all musical genres:
In 1905 Rauchenecker was given the title of Royal Prussian Director of Music.