The Spohr Society of the United States of America
Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert & Michael Leinert

Louis Spohr was a Honorary Member of the Philharmonic Society, New York:
"This certifies that Dr. Louis Spohr was elected an Honorary Member of the Philharmonic Society, New York
on this Thirty first day of January 1846.
Given under our hands and seal this Twenty sixth day of May 1846.
Seven signatures (among others): Ureli C. Hill, Alfred Boucher, George Loders, H. C. Timm.
A student of Louis Spohr in Kassel from 1836-38, the American violinist and conductor
Ureli Corelli Hill (1802-1875) was the founder and first President of Philharmonic Society, New York, in 1842
(today: the New York Philharmonic Orchestra). Hill invited both Spohr and Mendelssohn to conduct in New York,
however neither of them could accept, sending letters of acknowledgement instead.
Both were later made honorary members of the Philharmonic Society NY.

200 years ago: on September 1, 1816
World Premiere of the Romantic opera FAUST by Louis Spohr.
Conductor: Carl Maria von Weber.

The libretto, by Josef Karl Bernard, is based on the legend of Faust;
it is not influenced by Goethe's Faust, though Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy had been published in 1808.
Instead, Carl Bernard's libretto draws mainly on Faust plays and poems by Maximilian Klinger
and Heinrich von Kleist.
Spohr's FAUST is an important work in the history of German Romantic opera.
Carl Maria von Weber conducted the first performance of FAUST at the Staendetheater, Prague
on 1 September 1816.
Meyerbeer introduced it at Berlin. In its original form, the opera was written with spoken dialogues in two acts.
In 1851, Spohr turned the piece into a grand opera in three acts, replacing the spoken dialogue with recitative.
This version (commissioned by Queen Victoria of England - in an Italian translation)
received its successful premiere at the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, London
on 15 July 1852 under the baton of the composer.

Scene from Spohr's "Faust" at the Royal Italian opera.
The Illustrated London News Supplement, 31 July 1852.


Charles Baugniet: L'ANALYSE. Berlioz and his friends 1853.

Souvenir of the Musical Union (Ninth Season). From left to right:
Bazzani, H. Blagrov, Goffrie, J. Blumenthal, Henri Vieuxtemps (with his violin), Lazarus, S. Pratten, Jarrett,
Ferdinand Hiller, Barret, Baumann, Peter J. Lindpaintner,
Louis Spohr (with his musical score), Molique, Hector Berlioz, John Ella (standing behind Berlioz).
Lithograph of musicians who took part in the concerts of John Ella's Musical Union during the 1853 season.

Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated his Canon for 3 voices "Kurz ist der Schmerz" WoO 166
 (words by Friedrich Schiller from his tragedy "Die Jungfrau von Orleans")
to his friend Louis Spohr who was at this time Music Director in Vienna (1813-1815)
at the "Theater an der Wien". The dedication date: March 3, 1815.


The Spohr Society of the United States of America

Founded in 2008 by Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert & Michael Leinert, Memphis TN. 


An introduction to Louis Spohr's opera
by the Italian conductor and composer Dario Bisso Sabadin


L o u i s  S p o h r  in  F l o r i d a

20, 2015
Florida Atlantic University  - Boca Raton, FL

Lecture by Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert:

"LOUIS SPOHR - the forgotten master
and his songs"

on October 21, 2015
New World School of the Arts

A new portrait of Louis Spohr
Ein wiederentdecktes Jugendbildnis
Oil on canvas, 67.5 x 62 cm
Collection: Royal Academy of Music
Louis Spohr [Ludwig Spohr] is shown half-length, slightly turned to the right,
with a quill in his right hand, looking to the viewer.
He is depicted penning what appears to be the music for 'God Save the King'.
Keith Warsop writes in his article 'A new portrait of Spohr' (Spohr Journal No.35, 2008):
The national anthem of the Duke of Brunswick 'Heil unserm Herzog, Heil!'
shared the same melody as the British one.

He is painted against a dark background wearing a dark jacket, yellow waistcoat with an upturned collar,
and a white shirt with a high collar and neck frills. His dark hair is worn long and parted in the centre,
and falls around his shoulders. In his late teens Spohr was sponsored by the Duke of Brunswick
and the same melody was used by Brunswick for its own national anthem 'Heil unserm Herzog, Heil!'.
Duke Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand (1735 - 1806) was married to Augusta, sister of George III.
He was nearly 6ft 7ins in height.
More about this painting: Warsop_NewSpohrPortrait.pdf


'Seid mir gegruesst, ihr theuren Hallen'

An expedition through the forgotten operas of Louis Spohr
Lecture with musical examples by
Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert and Michael Leiert

Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 7:30 pm
City Museum of Braunschweig, Germany.
An event of the Louis Spohr Society of Braunschweig.

He composed ten operas. Witches and sorcerers, crusaders and mountain spirits, lovers and schemers,
owl-queens and alchemists are among the characters brought to life.
From days of long ago, on landscapes steeped in legend,
to India, Spain, Flanders, Germany, Italy and Turkey, we are guided on this expedition
of operas by the composer Louis Spohr.
Accompanied by famous singers, orchestras and conductors, numerous musical examples
will be presented. Often his operas deal with controversial subjects, such as for example
in 'Jessonda' the issue of widow-burning in India.
The lecture about Spohr's music theater illuminates at the same time
a forgotten portion of opera history:  the composer, along side Carl Maria von Weber,
can be designated without a doubt, an innovator of the Romantic music drama.

To delve into the content and form of opera, this 'impossible art',
was always a challenge for Louis Spohr, who although self-critical,
met the challenge with great passion and intensity.


November 14, 2014: Lecture in Hamburg about the first Edition of Louis Spohr's Lieder.

'Nur nicht lesen! immer singen!'(Goethe, An Lina)

Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert und Michael Leinert, von der Spohr Society of the United States of America,
berichten ueber ihre Forschungs - und Editionsarbeit  fuer die erste, kritische
Gesamtausgabe der Klavierlieder von Louis Spohr in 12 Baenden.
Vortrag mit musikalischen Beispielen.

Veranstaltungsort:  Theater im Zimmer, Alsterchaussee 30, 20149 Hamburg.
Freitag 14. November 2014. Beginn 13:00 Uhr. Eintritt frei. Gaeste willkommen.
Eine Veranstalung der Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater Hamburg (HfMT).

Louis Spohr (1784 - 1859) ist als Liedkomponist nahezu vergessen.
Ausser den Sechs Deutschen Liedern op. 103, den sogenannten 'Klarinettenliedern', gibt es heute nur wenige
Liedkompositionen, die Aufnahme in Liederabende und Konzert-Programme gefunden haben.
Ueber einen Zeitraum von mehr als 50 Jahren hat sich Spohr mit der Kunstform des Liedes
auseinandergesetzt. Seine kompositorische Experimentierfreude ist auch in seinen Liedkompositionen festzustellen.
Umso erstaunlicher ist es, dass das 'Kapitel Spohr' im Kunstlied des 19. Jahrhunderts von der Musikgeschichte
und den Liedforschern bisher weitgehend vernachlaessigt worden ist.
Einspielungen von Spohr-Liedern mit beruehmten Interpreten werden den Vortrag ergaenzen.

Prof. Burkard Kehring, Librarian Silke Brose, Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert and Michael Leinert.
The Spohr Society of the United States of America (President Prof. Owen-Leinert)
donated the first critical Edition of Louis Spohr's Lieder in 12 volumes
to the library of the Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater in Hamburg on November 14, 2014
after the lecture about Louis Spohr's Lieder.



 Friday, September 27th, 2013, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
 Bruno Walter Auditorium
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Amsterdam Ave. and 65th St. entrance

Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert gave
a lecture presentation with musical examples:
A Forgotten Master - the  romantic composer Louis Spohr louis-spohr

The Complete Edition in 12 vols. is available at the NYPL for the Perming Arts. Call No.: JMG 14-80


Valerie Girard, New York
Works at Private Voice Studio - Opera & Concert Soloist
Was a wonderful and interesting presentation. Thank you!

George Boziwick, Chief, Music Division
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-7498

It was a pleasure to meet you both and to host such a terrific program.
I too received great feedback from members of the audience.

Hermann Leptz, New York
Current Archivist and Historian of Manhattan School of Music.
Former assistant archivist of the New York Philharmonic.
Editor of Moravian music. Lyric Baritone. Conductor.
"It was truly a pleasure to meet you both and hear that wonderful lecture on Louis Spohr.
You must come back again and go into detail on his life and impact on other composers." 

Recently received in West Palm Beach, Florida, the news of the successful publication
has grown in popularity. Following the lectures that the editors Susan Owen-Leinert & Michael Leinert
 have presented in various German cities, they are excited to be invited
to speak about this important German Romantic composer now in the United States.

    Louis Spohr in San Francisco

Louis Spohr's >Tristan Chords< and Leitmotivs
February 7, 2009
n her talk, Professor Susan Owen-Leinert (The University of Memphis, Tennessee)
presents an exciting musical relationship:
the influence of Louis Spohr (1784 - 1859) on the music of Richard Wagner.
Her experience as a successful Wagnerian
soprano is a fundamental element in Owen-Leinert's research for this lecture,
which is accompanied with unique musical
examples.  Professor Owen-Leinert is a passionate teacher of voice at the
University of Memphis and the President of the
Louis Spohr Society of the United States of America.
She is currently editing the first complete edition of the Lieder of Louis Spohr in 12 vols.
for the German publisher Dohr Verlag in Cologne. 
Professor Owen-Leinert will take us into the world of Spohr and help us learn more
about this important friend and champion of Richard Wagner.  


More about our

Spohr Lecture

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Staedtisches Museum in Braunschweig, Germany.


The First Complete Edition of  Spohr's  Lieder (12 vols.)
    for one or two voices and piano,
edited by
Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert
and Michael Leinert
Publisher:  Verlag Christoph Dohr, Cologne.


      The complete edition in 12 vols. with 111 songs is now available    
The contents of the complete edition (12 Vols.) as pdf file                                                  

Vol. 6: Sechs deutsche Lieder op. 103 (Sopran, Klarinette, Piano).
Partitur mit beiliegender Klarinetten-Stimme. E.D. 29956
Now available: alternative with violin part E.D. 12610

Magazin fuer klassische Musik und Musikwissenschaft
Redaktion: Hochschule fuer Musik FRANZ LISZT Weimar
Institut fuer Musikwissenschaft Weimar-Jena

Enthusiastic review by  Ferdinand von Bothmer on page 273-275
about the SPOHR LIED EDITION in 12 vols.
DIE TONKUNST_Review_Spohr_Liededition.pdf

Translated from the German, highlights of this lengthy review are summarized below.

'The inspiring introductions, concise in their content and writing style are impressive and detailed...
including important literary facts that are helpful to the singer.'

'The prefaces contain information of superior worth about each individual song.'
Among such professional publications currently printed,
this edition is truly a most magnificent example supplying pertinent information
in a scholarly correct, easy to understand and refreshingly lively manner.'


  Review of the first complete SPOHR LIED EDITION (12 vols.)
in the British music magazine THE SINGER June/July 2011


   'An example of the efforts made to rehabilitate
Spohr is a new first scholarly Lied Edition....
   more than 100 songs are included...
the critical commentary on each number is excellent'.


Review by Sue Anderson,
editor of the British AOTOS Journal SINGING
The Association of Teachers of Singing.  Issue 63 Autumn 2012


Mit steigender Leidenschaft, wehmuetig
Romantische Literatur fuer Singstimmen und Klavier

                                                                  Rezension in der Neuen Musikzeitung 5/2012

Louis Spohr (1784 - 1859): Lied Edition. Gesamtausgabe der ein- und zweistimmigen Lieder in 12 Baenden,
Band 1, Deutsche Lieder op. 25 & op. 37,
Edition Dohr 29951 ISMN M-2020-1951-1; Band 11, Einzellieder II;
Edition Dohr 29961,
ISMN M-2020-1961-0, herausgegeben von Susan Owen-Leinert und Michael Leinert, Memphis/Tennessee

Louis Spohrs Klavierlied-Repertoire umfasst derzeit eine Sammlung von 105 Liedern, ohne Beruecksichtigung seines Fruehwerks.
Aus damaliger Sicht stilistisch experimentell, ist es von grossartiger Vielfalt und Ideenreichtum gepraegt. Leider verlor die Internationale
Louis Spohr Gesellschaft e.V. ihren gesamten Nachlass durch Konfiszierung im Jahr 1933. Nun sind dankenswerterweise etliche der in der
frueheren Gesamtausgabe des Louis Spohr-Forschers Clive Brown nicht enthaltenen Lieder wieder aus der Versenkung ausgegraben und
zum ersten Mal in der vorliegenden 12baendigen Ausgabe abgedruckt worden. Spohrs erstes gedrucktes Liederheft mit insgesamt
sechs Liedern op. 25 entstand im Jahr 1809 in Gotha. Sie sind mit einer Widmung an die Saengerin, Schauspielerin und Maetresse von
Carl August von Weimar, 'der Frau von Heigendorf geb. Jagemann in Weimar ergebenst zugeeignet' und, von ihr protegiert, in Hamburg
bei Boehme erschienen. Im 1. Band dieser Edition sind Opus 25 und weitere sechs deutsche Lieder op. 37 vom Entstehungsjahr 1815 enthalten.
Auf das 'Wiegenlied' op. 25,1 mit nachgetragenem sowie op. 37,4, einem Lied mit englischsprachigem Text ist im Anhang hingewiesen.
Gedichte von unterschiedlicher poetischer Qualitaet befluegelten Spohrs Phantasie zu hintergruendig qualitaetvoller Tondichtung. Vom einfachen
Kinderwiegenlied bis hin zur vollendeten Kunstform scheint einfuehlsamer Sprachduktus, Semantik und daraus sich entwickelnde musikalische
Gestik der Fokus allen strukturellen kompositorischen Denkens zu sein. Exakte Tempoangaben sowie auch Vortragsangaben wie zum
Beispiel 'mit steigender Leidenschaft, wehmuetig, ernste Bewegung' haben nicht nur Hinweischarakter. Einigen wenigen Gesaengen sind
Soloinstrumente beigegeben: Klarinette, Horn oder Harfe. Die jedem einzelnen der 12 Baende vorangestellten allgemeinen Hinweise zur
Edition, Vorwort und der kritische Bericht (Deutsch und Englisch) tragen erheblich zum Werkverstaendnis bei, nicht zuletzt die ausfuehrlichen
Liedkommentare. Der Blickwinkel auf Leben und Werk Louis Spohrs erhaelt mit dieser Gesamtausgabe neue Justierung, eine neue Farbe.

                                                                                                                                                                       Johanna Erbacher-Binder

The largest German music magazine, 'neue musik zeitung'
wrote a detailed, positive review in the May, 2012 issue about the first complete Louis Spohr Lied edition.
Johanna Erbacher-Binder describes Spohr's Lied compositions as 'magnificent', 'versatile' and 'rich with ideas'.
Concerning the edition by Susan Owen-Leinert and Michael Leinert she praises the prefaces, 
critical report and the detailed commentary as being 'very insightful'.
Her conclusion: 'With this complete edition, the life and work of Louis Spohr receive a new point of intere
st, a new color.'

A selection - withVideo Clips

Braunschweigische Louis-Spohr-Gesellschaft

Matthias Stanze, Praesident

Spohr-Museum Kassel
Dr. Karl-Traugott Goldbach

Internationale Louis Spohr Gesellschaft Kassel 
Foerderverein Louis-Spohr-Stiftung e.V.

Dr. Lorenz B. F. Becker

The Spohr Society of Great Britain
Prof. Clive Brown, Keith Warsop, Chris Tutt

More about SPOHR, his life, his works,
Discography, Video Clips etc.


Article in the Kassel newspaper HNA, October 17, 2011
'Grosstat fuer den Meister - Great Feat for the Master'
Susan Owen-Leinert and Michael Leinert presented the first complete & critical Edition of
Louis Spohr's Lieder at the SPOHR MUSEUM in Kassel, Germany.

Did Louis Spohr composed a \vocalise'

The Spohr Society
of the United States of America

 Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert,
 Michael Leinert
 P O Box 11508
 Memphis, TN 38111  USA

Phone: 901 678 4082 / The University of Memphis

Academic consultant:
Dr. Wolfram Boder  Herkulesstr.31  
 D-34119 Kassel, Germany 
Our Office in Germany: 
Cornelia Krueger-Crull

 D - 22391 Hamburg

Webmaster: Susan Owen-Leinert 
Last update: August 19, 2016

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