|VIOLINIST, ARRANGER (GERMANY)|
BORN 21 Sep 1845, Usingen, Hessen - DIED 22 Jan 1908, London: 54 Priory Road, West Hampstead|
BIRTH NAME Wilhelmj, August Emil Daniel Ferdinand
GRAVE LOCATION Wiesbaden, Hessen: Nordfriedhof, Platter Strasse
August Wilhelmj was the son of August Wilhelm Wilhelmj (1813-1910), the owner of a winery. His mother was Charlotte Friederieke Emilie Petry was a well known pianist at the time of her marriage in 1843. She had studied at the school of Bordogni and under Chopin. August received his first music lessons in Wiesbaden. When Henriette Sontag heard him in 1852 she told him that he would become the German Paganini. A recommendation by Franz Liszt enabled him to study under Ferdinand David in Leipzig. He studied music theory under Moritz Hauptmann and Ernst Friedrich Richter was a further teacher. In 1864 he studied composition under Joachim Raff in Wiesbaden.
In 1865 he undertook concert tours to Switzerland and to the Netherlands. In 1866 he performed in London, where he was introduced by Jenny Lind. In that same year he obtained a Stradivari violin that he used until he retired. On 29 May 1866 he married Sophie von Liphart, whom he had met at the house of Ferdinand David. She was the daugher of patron of the arts Karl Eduard von Liphart and a niece of David. In 1872 they had a son, Adolf, who became a professor at the conservatory in Belfast.
During the next years Wilhelmj gave successful performances in European cities. In 1875 his friend Richard Wagner, who had once stayed at the house of his parents, engaged him as concert master and first violinist for the first Festspiele in Bayreuth in 1876 and he led the orchestra at the premiere of the "Der Ring des Nibelungen". In 1877 he induced Wagner to London to conduct the festival at the Albert Hall.
From 1778 to 1882 he toured in North and South America, Asia and Australia. He passed through London on his way home to his villa at Mosbach-Biberich on the Rhine. He mostly retired from public life for a while and he founded a violin school in nearby Wiesbaden with R. Niemann. In 1885 he travelled again, this time to Turkey, where he played for the ladies of the Sultanís harem.
From 1886 to 1893 he lived in Blaswitz near Dresden. In 1893 he moved to London, where he was appointed professor of violin at the Guildhall School of Music in 1894. In London he the co-author of "Modern School for the Violin". In 1895 he married his second wife Mariella Mausch-Jerret, a pianist from Dresden. In his later years in London he didn't perform, but he was a well known sight in the audience of concerts. He died in 1908 in London.
was pupil to Raff, Joachim
was a friend of Wagner, Richard
cooperated with Wagner, Richard