Joachim, Joseph

BORN 28 Jun 1831, Kittsee, Burgenland - DIED 15 Aug 1907, Berlin
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Friedhof der Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirchengemeinde, Fürstenbrunnerweg 69-79 (Feld D-G2 Gitter (Ehrengrab))

Joseph Joachim was the son of the wool merchant Julius Joachim and his wife Fanny. Both parents were of Hungarian origin. In 1833 his family moved to Pest. From the age of five he studied violin with Stanislaw Serwaczynski, the concertmaster of the opera in Pest. His first public performance took place on 17 March 1839. In the same year he started his studies at the Conservatory in Vienna in 1838. Joseph Böhm was his most important teacher there. In 1843 his cousin Fanny Fignor took him to Leipzig where Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was his teacher.

On 27 May 1844 he played the solo part in Beethoven's Violin Concerto in London in a performance conducted by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. After Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's death in 1847 he stayed in Leipzig until Franz Lisz gave him a position as concert master in Weimar in 1849. In 1849 he started an affair with Gisela von Arnim that lasted until she married Hermann Grimm in 1859.

In 1853 Robert Schumann invited him to the Lower Rhine Festival and Schumann and his wife Clara were deeply impressed by his performance. Around this time he met the the unknown Johannes Brahms and recommended him to Robert Schumann. In December 1854 he was the first to visit Schumann at the asylum in Endenich where Schumann would die in 1856.

From 1853 until 1865 he was concertmaster in Hanover. Over time he became less enthousiastic about Listz's music and in 1857 he wrote to Liszt that he was out of sympathy with it. In Hannover he met the singer Amalie Weiss, whom he married in 1863. They had six children, but his jealousy would eventually result in a divorce in 1884 after he became convinced that she had an affair with the publisher Fritz Simrock.

In 1868 Brahms became the director of the Hochschule in Berlin and in 1869 he started the Joachim-quartet, which existed until his death in 1907. From 1882 until 1887 he was conductor at the Berlin Philharmonic. He was also famous as a teacher. Joachim often travelled abroad and received many titles and awards. He was seen by many as the greatest violinist of his time and he performed many times together with Clara Schumann.

• Wife: Joachim, Amalie (1863-1882, Hannover: Schlosskirche) (divorce or separation)

Related persons
• had a relationship with Arnim, Gisela von
• was a friend of Brahms, Johannes
• visited Dirichlet, Peter Gustave Lejeune
• performed with Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm
• was a friend of Liszt, Franz
• cooperated with Marsick, Martin-Pierre
• was pupil of Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix
• knew Radecke, Robert
• was painted by Sargent, John Singer
• performed with Schumann, Clara
• knew Schumann, Felix
• knew Schumann, Robert
• was teacher of Soldat-Röger, Marie
• knew Thackeray Ritchie, Anne

27/5/1844Joseph Joachim performs the violin solo in Beethoven's "Violin Concerto" in London. It was during a concert of the Philharmonic Society that was conducted by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. He was twelve years old at the time.The Philharmonic Society usually didn't allowed such young performers, but an exception was made. It was a great success and Joachim visited England numerous times afterwards. [Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix]
18/2/1865Joseph Joachim and Julie von Asten perform together in Hamburg. They played pieces by Schumann, Mozart and Schubert. 
10/4/1868"German Requiem" by Johannes Brahms is performed at Bremen Cathedral. It was the first complete performance of this work. Joseph Joachim and his wife Amelia had joined their friend in Bremen. Amelia sang "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth" and Joseph played Schumann's "Abendlied". Afterwards Brahms and his friends, including the Joachims, Clara Schumann, Max Bruch and Albert Dietrich, gathered at the Rathskeller. [Brahms, Johannes][Joachim, Amalie][Schumann, Clara]
26/6/1870Premiere of Wagner's "Die Walküre" at the Hoftheater in Munich. Wagner wanted to stage it in 1871, but Ludwig II of Bavaria was the legal owner of the piece and didn't want to wait. Wüllner was the conductor and Joachim, Brahms, Saint-Saëns and Liszt were in the audience. Wagner wasn't there and Ludwig also stayed away. He had decided to wait for the second performance so that he would be able to see "Das Rheingold", that would be staged again during the summer, and "Die Walküre" in the right order. [Bausewein, Kaspar][Brahms, Johannes][Liszt, Franz][Possart-Deinet, Anna von][Saint-Saëns, Camille][Vogl, Heinrich][Vogl, Therese][Wagner, Richard]
17/8/1873Commemoration of Robert Schumann in Bonn to raise funds for a memorial. The music festival took place on 17-19 August. Funds were raised to replace Schumann's tombstone for a more worthy monument. The performances were conducted by Wilhelm von Wasielewski and Joseph Joachim. Clara Schumann herself was a performer. Others were Marie Wilt, Amalie Joachim, Marie Sartorius, Franz Diener, Julius Stockhausen, Adolph Schulze and Ernst Rudorff. [Joachim, Amalie][Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Robert][Stockhausen, Julius][Wilt, Marie]
26/11/1937First performance of Robert Schumann's Violin Concerto. It was performed by Georg Kulenkampff and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Karl Böhm was the conductor. The manuscript had been given by Clara Schumann to Joseph Joachim. Joachim had stated in his will that it should not be performed until 1956, 100 years after Schumann's death. This was because he thought that the piece showed signs of Schumann's mental illness. Joachim's heirs gave permission for an earlier performance. [Böhm, Karl][Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Robert]


The grave of Joseph and Amalie Joachim at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Friedhof, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (29 Mar 2007)


• Blunt, Wilfrid, The Dream King, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1973
• Prahacs, Margit, Franz Liszt, Briefe aus Ungarischen Sammlungen 1835-1886, Bärenreiter, Kassel, 1966
Wikipedia (DE)
Wikipedia (EN):

Jodl, Friedrich

Published: 21 Jul 2007
Last update: 22 Apr 2024