Composer Spotlight: Josef Foerster


(1859-1951) was a Czech composer, notable not only for his classical compositions but for his work as a music critic. A graduate of the Prague Conservatory, Foerster is well known for his written abilities as well as his mystical musical works, which incorporate intricate melodies and unusual harmonics and chord progressions. Foerster worked as an organist in multiple Prague churches until he moved to Hamburg, in which he flourished as a music critic for the Die Zeitnewspaper in addition to becoming a professor at the Hamburg Conservatory. In 1903, Foerster moved again, this time to Vienna as his wife, Berta Lauterova, had found employment as a vocalist for the Vienna Hofoper. Foerster continued to teach, this time at the New Conservatory, as well as maintaining his successes in writing musical criticism and composing new works. He returned to Prague in 1918, and received the award of National Artist of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1945, making history as the first musician to receive the honor.

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