Johannes Brahms's contemporary and friend to whom he was often compared, Max Bruch was a German composer of the 19th century. His style and his sense of melody, specific to the Romantic movement, assured him a renown though all of Europe. Nonetheless Buch's refusal to affiliate with the post-romantic innovations had an impact on his success.
Max Bruch began studying music with Heinrich Carl Breidenstein in Bonn, then went to Frankfurt with a grant from the Mozart Foundation. He then worked with Carl Reinecke and Ferdinand Hiller, and wrote his first works.
After three years as a professor in Cologne, Max Bruch became conductor and choirmaster, first in Mannheim where he settled in 1863, then in Koblenz, Sonndershausen, Berlin, Liverpool and finally Breslau (1883). He taught the English composer Ralph Vaughan-Williams. His career culminated when he was appointed director of the Berlin Musikhochschule in 1891.
In addition to a few chamber music works including his eight-piece clarinet, viola and piano (1910), Max Bruch composed two operas, Die Loreley and Hermione. But, he was particularly known in Germany and gradually throughout Europe for his two violin concertos (1868 and 1878) and his choral music works.
Six landmark dates in the life of Bertrand Max Bruch:
1852: Obtained a scholarship from the Mozart Foundation
1858: Music teacher in Cologne
1862: Conductor and choirmaster in Mannheim
1878: Conductor in Berlin
1883: Music Director of the Breslau Orchestra
1891: Director of the Berlin Musikhochschule (until 1910)
Six key works by Bertrand Max Bruch:
1868: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 26
1872: Odysseus, profane oratorio, op. 41
1878: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, op. 44
1880: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, op. 46
1880: _Kol Nidre_i, Hebrew Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra, op. 47
1910: Eight piece for clarinet, viola and piano in E minor, op. 83