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Grafisches Viertel - Music Publishers

The world's oldest music publisher was founded here

View of the Reclam Carree in the Graphic Quarter where once one of the Reclam publishing house was located and which is a station on the Notenspur of the music city Leipzig, culture in Leipzig
© Andreas Schmidt

In the 19th century, Leipzig developed into a European music metropolis of the highest standing. Publishing, which largely took place in the Grafische Viertel to the east of Leipzig's city centre, played a special role here. Breitkopf was the oldest institution and at the same time the oldest music publisher in the world. It was founded by Bernhard Christoph Breitkopf in 1719.

After Gottfried Christoph Härtel took over the publishing house in 1795 (it has since been called Breitkopf & Härtel), close relationships arose with Ludwig van Beethoven and later with some of the main figures of the "romantic" generation, such as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. The publishing house C.F. Peters is also closely connected with Leipzig's music history. It was founded in 1800 by Franz Anton Hoffmeister and Ambrosius Kühnel as the "Bureau de Musique" and published important editions of works by Johann Sebastian Bach as early as the first half of the 19th century. Another institution that still exists today is the Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag, named after its founder. Hofmeister studied with Breitkopf & Härtel and subsequently worked in Kühnels and Hoffmeister's "Bureau de Musique". At his own publishing house he published early works by Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck, among other big names.

In 1900, the Grafische Viertel reached its peak in expansion; unfortunately, most of this progress was destroyed during the Second World War. After 1949, many publishers relocated to the western part of Germany. Today there is again a branch of the Breitkopf & Härtel publishing house in Leipzig. C.F. Peters and the Hofmeister publishing house both returned all their operations to Leipzig.

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location Leipzig