‘The Uttermost Perfection of All Wind Instruments’: Franz Tausch (1762–1817) and the Conservatorium für Blasinstrumente in Berlin, 1805

  • Emily Worthington (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


“Your Well-born [Sir] will remember that the wind instruments and my current own especially, had reached only a low grade of training at the time of my arrival in Berlin, and thus they had been left standing by all other instruments…”

So wrote the clarinetist Franz Tausch in an 1805 report on his Conservatorium für Blasinstrumente. Tausch’s working life spanned a formative period of development both for his instrument, and the culture he operated within. He received his musical education at the Mannheim and Munich courts, and moved to Berlin in 1789 where he established himself as a solo virtuoso and gained a position in the Hofkapelle. Tausch’s reputation as a teacher made him a destination for students from far and wide, the most notable of whom were Bernhard Henrik Crusell and Heinrich Baermann. Tausch’s short-lived Conservatorium, however, was not as has sometimes been assumed modeled after the newly-founded Paris Conservatoire. Rather, it closely resembled the Berlin Sing-Akademie, as a musical Gesellschaft that brought together professional musicians and noble amateurs in pursuit of high artistic standards. Consideration of its activities offers an account of the relationship between ensemble training and dilettante instrumental playing in early 19th century Berlin.
Period3 Jul 2018
Event title20th Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music
Event typeConference
Conference number20
LocationHuddersfield, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational