F. W. Grutzmacher

Friedrich Wilhelm Grutzmacher (1832-1903) was the leading light in cello performance in the second half of the nineteenth century. He was born in Dessau, Germany, and was first taught by his father. Soon he began studying with Dotzaruer's pupil, Dreschler.

In 1848 he was discovered in Leipzig by the famous violinist, Ferdinand David, who arranged some concerts for him. In 1850 Grutzmacher became solo cellist in the Leipzig theatre orchestra, the Gewandhaus Concerts, and professor at the Conservatory there. He played in the David String Quartet.

In 1860 he moved to Dresden to be principal cellist of the Court Orchestra, and head of the Dresden Musical Society. In 1877 he became a professor at the Dresden Conservatory. He concertized all over Europe and Russia, where he became a friend of the famous cellist Davidov. He played the first performance of Richard Strauss's Don Quixote in Cologne in 1898. He was the teacher of Fitzenhagen (of thumb position fame), and Hugo Becker (whose etudes are still used).

He is most famous today for taking samples of four different works to form his edition of Boccherini's Concerto in B flat, still being published and performed. He was also guilty of "rearranging" Bach's Suites, which he completely reorganized with additional chords, passages and embellishments. His cadenzas for Boccherini and the Haydn D Major are effective, and often performed to this day.

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