Raff, Joachim

BORN 22 May 1822, Lachen (near Zürich), Switzerland - DIED 25 Jun 1882, Frankfurt am Main, Hessen
BIRTH NAME Raff, Joseph Joachim
GRAVE LOCATION Frankfurt am Main, Hessen: Hauptfriedhof (Gewann D, 298)

Joachim Raff was born in Lachen near Zürich as the son of a German refugee who escaped recruitment for Napoleon's army for the invasion of Russia. Joachim taught himself music while he worked as a schoolteacher. He sent some of his work to Felix Mendelssohn. They were published by Breitkopf & Härtel and praised by Robert Schumann.

Raff went to Zurich to become a composer. In 1845 he walked to Basel to hear Franz Liszt at the piano. In Stuttgart he met and befriended Hans von Bülow and from 1850 to 1853 he was Liszt's assistant in Weimar. His opera "König Alfred" was staged in 1851 in Weimar. When he walked in a park in 1850 he promptly fell in love with a girl that he saw there and only when he visited her father Eduard Genast he realised that she was his daughter. An engagement followed in 1853, but the wedding had to wait because he had no income.

Doris Genast was an actress an accepted an engagement at the Royal theatre in Wiesbaden later in 1853. In 1856 Raff followed her to Wiesbaden, where he mostly worked as a composer. In 1859 they were finally able to marry. He became the first director of the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main in 1878. Clara Schumann was one of the teachers there and he organised a class for female composers. He died in Frankfurt am Main in 1882.

Related persons
• was a friend of Bülow, Hans von
• has a connection with Liszt, Franz
• was a friend of Reissiger, Carl
• met Spies, Hermine
• was teacher of Wilhelmj, August
• was teacher of Wilhelmj, Maria


The grave of Joachim Raff at the Hauptfriedhof, Frankfurt am Main.
Picture by Androom (30 Apr 2013)


• Prahacs, Margit, Franz Liszt, Briefe aus Ungarischen Sammlungen 1835-1886, Bärenreiter, Kassel, 1966
Joachim Raff - Wikipedia

Rahl, Carl

Published: 26 May 2018
Last update: 01 Oct 2023