Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Foundation
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born on 3 February 1809 in Hamburg, was the grandson of famed philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and is one of the most impressive figures in the international music scene. He is widely known as the most important conductor to front Leipzig's Gewandhaus Orchestra, and is thought to have fundamentally changed the city's musical scene and started the Bach Renaissance in Germany. His Symphony in C minor premiered on 1 February 1827, the first of his compositions to be played in the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Mendelssohn Bartholdy made his way to Berlin at the end of August 1835, aged 26, to replace the dismissed Gewandhaus conductor Christian August Pohlenz. During his 12 years in Leipzig, he worked with Ferdinand David to turn the Gewandhaus Orchestra into a powerful institution of Europe-wide importance. He was the founder of the oldest German music school. He established significant prerequisites for the education of young musicians by founding the Leipzig Conservatory on 2 April 1843. The first permanent staff members included Ferdinand David, Moritz Hauptmann, Henriette Bünau-Grabau and Robert Schumann.