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Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Birth: Nov. 21, 1877
Death: Apr. 9, 1933

Composer and Organist. He was born Siegfried Karg in Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany. Although he showed early musical talent, his family was poor and he was forced to study to become a school teacher. At 16 he rebelled against their wishes and spent the next three years as a wandering freelance musician. He was finally arrested for trying to obtain false identity papers, and sent back home. By 1897 he was studying at the Leipzig Conservatory, paying for his tuition by playing piano in beer halls; his professors frowned on this activity, so he did his bar-hopping disguised with a false beard and wig. In 1902 he was appointed professor of piano at Magdeburg Conservatory on the condition that he alter his last name to Karg-Elert (adding his mother's maiden name). That same year he was engaged to pianist Maria Oelze, but her father broke up the relationship when she became pregnant. Karg-Elert was on the brink of suicide when in 1904 he met composer Edvard Grieg, who was travelling through Germany. Grieg encouraged the troubled young musician, introduced him to publishers, and gave him career advice. He also suggested that Karg-Elert change the spelling of his first name to the Nordic "Sigfrid", since Scandinavian composers were becoming trendy in Europe. From then on his fortunes improved. Karg-Elert became celebrated as an organ virtuoso and all his major compositions were written for that instrument. His early music was influenced by the polyphony of late Baroque; he then grew enamoured with the atonal school of Arnold Schoenberg. Eventually he evolved a more conservative style, tinged with the French Impressionists. Despite his eclecticism, Karg-Elert's work is essentially late-Romantic in spirit. In 1930 he participated in a Karg-Elert festival in England and the following year he made a concert tour of the United States. His last years were clouded by diabetes, which killed him at 55. Karg-Elert's fame faded after his death, but his "Chorale Improvisations" are still in the repertory and his music has recently enjoyed a revival of interest among organ aficionados. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
Leipziger Stadtkreis
Saxony (Sachsen), Germany
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Dec 04, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 10037683
Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Added by: Bobb Edwards
Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Added by: Frankie
Sigfrid Karg-Elert
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Added by: Lutetia
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- R I P
 Added: Nov. 21, 2014

- Tom A. Hawk
 Added: Nov. 21, 2014

- Mike Caldwell
 Added: Nov. 21, 2014
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