Price: $200.00

One page autographed letter signed to his Brahms Festival donor Ernst Losmann on his Städitsche Musikdirektor, Essen stationary, June 24, 1922.  We offer with the original imprinted transmittal envelope.

24 June 1922


Dear Colleague,


The city administration informed me that the Brahms festival ended with a surplus of 100,000 Marks.


For your kind guarantee, thanks to your warmest generosity.




Max Fiedler


August Max Fiedler (1859-1939) was the son of a music teacher in Saxony.  (He was not a relation of Arthur and Emanuel Fiedler.) His father became his piano teacher and the son became a wunderkind, making his debut with a local orchestra at the age of ten in 1870 under his father’s baton.  His father sent him to Zittau to study with Mendelssohn’s pupil Gustav Albrecht.  In 1877 he was admitted to the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied piano with Carl Reinecke and won the Holstein Scholarship when he graduated in 1880.  He was also close friends with his classmate, conductor Karl Muck. He remained in Leipzig for two years studying composition privately with Julius Spengel who introduced him to Johannes Brahms.  In 1882 Fiedler was appointed instructor at the Hamburg Hochschule für Musik.  He had a career as a concert pianist which flourished once he reached Hamburg.  Brahms at one point asked him to substitute for him in a performance of his second concerto which Fiedler refused.  He conducted in public for the first time in 1885 in a shared concert where he led a performance of his early symphony.  His first appearance conducting a full program in Hamburg was in the Fall of 1886.  His conducting mentor was Hans v. Bülow and he adopted his mannerisms. When he assumed the Directorship of the Conservatory he was made Generalmusikdirektor of the town and therefore he was the Music Director of the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, a position he held until 1922.  Fiedler at this point was a seasoned guest conductor, Russia in 1898, Madrid in 1899, Paris 1901, Turin 1904, New York in 1905, Rome 1906 and 1908, London 1907 and again in 1908.  Karl Muck who was in Boston as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1906 - 1908 left Boston to become the Prussian State Generalmusikdirektor and recommended Fiedler to replace him.  Based upon Fiedler’s success with the New York Philharmonic the previous year, he was offered the Boston position where he led the orchestra from his first concert in October 9, 1908 to his last on May 4, 1912.  In 1909, Fiedler convinced Serge Rachmaninov to come to America and tour conduct his American debut in Philadelphia on November 8th, 1909 playing his 2nd Piano Concerto.  Fiedler then had him come to Boston and then on November 13, 1909 made his Carnegie Hall debut with the same program as Philadelphia.  (He played the World Premiere of his 3rd Piano Concerto written for his tour with the New York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch at Carnegie Hall on November 30th, 1909. 


Fiedler returned to Germany in 1912 becoming a frequent guest conductor all over Europe.  By this point he was known as one of the leading Brahms authorities on the podium, some said in the world.  He took the position of Generalmusikdirektor of the city of Essen in 1916 where lived until 1934. The conductor ran an annual festival devoted to a composer, the 1922 Festival was obviously Brahms based on this letter. Fielder was not just a Romantic conductor, he also worked with contemporary composers and conducted World Premieres including Jan Paderewski’s “Polonia Symphony” in 1909, Edward MacDowell’s “Lamia” Symphonic Poem after Keats in 1908, Arthur Foote’s Suite for String Orchestra in 1909, Gustav Strube’s Cello Concerto in 1909 as well as his “Comedy” Overture in 1910 and Max Reger’s “A Comedy Overture” in 1910.  After Essen, Fiedler devoted himself to guest performances with the Berlin Rundfunk Orchester and the  Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg. 


While Fiedler made radio broadcasts, he never reached the recording studio until the year of his death.  In June, 1939, Fiedler recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic and Staatsoper Orchestra, the Brahms Academic Overture, the 2nd and 4th Symphonies and the 2nd Piano Concerto with Elly Ney.  Ney who was never satisfied with her performance wanted to redo the recordings, however it was not to be as Fiedler passed away whilst on a trip to Sweden in December, 1939.


Fiedler letters tend to be scarce and the mention of the Brahms Festival in our letter is a  wonderful association with the premiere Brahms conductor of his day.


Phone: 212-860-5541