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Louis Spohr is Born

Today in Masonic History Louis Spohr is born in 1784.

Louis Spohr was a German composer and musician.

Spohr was born on April 5th, 1784 in Braunschweig (Brunswick in English), Germany. At the age of 2 his family moved to Seesen. He was exposed to music at an early age. His mother was a gifted singer and pianist and his father played the flute. The violinist Dufour gave him lessons in violin as well. Dufour quickly recognized young Spohr's talent. In the early 1790's, when Spohr was no older than 10 or 11 he composed his first piece of music. Dufour encouraged his parents to send him back to Brunswick to get further instruction.

In 1799, Spohr attempted his first concert tour Hamburg. It failed badly and Spohr turned to the Duke of Brunswick for financial help. After a successful concert in the Duke's court, the Duke hired the 15 year old Spohr as a chamber musician.

In 1802, through the good offices of the Duke, Spohr became a student of Franz Eck. The two went on a concert tour together and Eck "re-taught" Spohr violin technique. Eck was a student of the Mannheim School and Spohr became it's most prominent heir. While on the tour with Eck, Spohr continued to compose, creating some of his more notable pieces, including Violin Concerto No. 1

After Spohr returned home, the Duke granted him leave for a tour of Northern Germany. On one stop in 1804 to Leipzig, his music, both the performance and the composition, brought a notable critic "to his knees." Overnight Spohr became famous across the German speaking world.

In 1805, Spohr got a job as a concertmaster in the court at Gotha, Germany. He stayed in the position until 1812. He also met his first wife, the two remained together until her passing 28 years later.

In 1808, Spohr began working with Beethoven at the latter's home. In some writings of the time, Spohr noted he felt Beethoven's piano was out of tune and his playing style was rather careless. Despite this the two men maintained their relationship for many years.

In 1857, Spohr was pensioned off from his position. The same year he broke his arm which put an end to violin playing for the rest of his life.

Spohr over his life composed close to 300 works. This included concertos and operas, one of his more famous was Faust. His version of Faust was not based on von Goethe's Faust, but on the German folk legend.

Spohr passed away on October 22nd, 1859 in Kassel.

Spohr was a member of Lodge Ernst zum Kompaߓ.