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Theodor Hausmann

Theodor Hausmann was born on 9 December 1880 in Elberfeld (Germany). He was a musical prodigy on the piano but for his father -  a strict Calvinist - performing Beethoven or Mozart was seduction. Therefore he forced his son to stop focussing on music and begin a training for merchant. And so Theodor Hausmann did.


After school he first worked as a merchant but - after the death of his father - switched to music in 1913. He first studied under W. Franke and Hermann Unger in Cologne and later - after World War I - under Julius Weismann in Freiburg, Joseph Haas in Munich and Hermann Grabner in Leipzig.


After his studies Theodor Hausmann became conductor at the Philharmonische Orchester Heidelberg under the principal conductor Philip Wolfrum. A year later Theodor Hausmann himself was appointed principal conductor at the Opera Orchestra in Remscheid. But the work and stress led to several nervous breakdowns with blackouts.

So he was sent to Icking, a small town near Munich, to drink the waters. Over the time Theodor Hausmann recovered physically. And he regularly met with a circle of artists and thinkers in Munich. Among them were music critic Alexander Berrsche and the art historian Hans Rupe. This circle was impressed by the compositions by Theodor Hausmann, convinced him to continue and helped that he also recovered mentally. In the early 1930s Theodor Hausmann moved back to Heidelberg, where he continued to compose and earned a living from teaching piano at university and privately.


Among his students after World War II was James Autenrith, who later became organ professor at the Michigan State University and Crane School in New York. Both became friends and gave a joint concert in January 1946 which was the first performance by an American musician after war in Heidelberg.


After his retirement Theodor Hausmann moved to a relative in South Africa in the 1960s, but disliked weather and location and so returned to Germany.

Theodor Hausmann was not married and had no children. He died in a rest home in Weinheim (Germany) on 19 June 1972.


Among the compositions by Theodor Hausmann are:

  • String quartet op.9
  • Vier Lieder op.10, for voice and piano
  • Piano trio op.12
  • "Neun Klavierstücke für die Jugend" op.15, for piano
  • Violin sonata op.16
  • "Drei Lieder" op.27, for voice and piano
  • "4 Chöre", op.23, for unison boy's chorus and four-part men's chorus
  • Cello sonata op.30
  • Variations on the folksong "Weißt du wieviel Sternlein stehen" op.31, for piano
  • "Drei Stücke im Volkston" op.32, for cello and piano
  • String trio op.34
  • 5 Sonette von Reinhold Schneider, for voice and piano op.38
  • "Musik im Schlosshof" op.41, for string orchestra

many, many more songs as well as a book on piano education titled "Schule der Treffsicherheit".

Most of his musical autographs are located at the Baden State Library in Karlsruhe.

Cello sonata


In my possession is the autograph manuscript of the full score as well as the cello part of the Cello sonata op.30 by Theodor Hausmann. The work was composed in 1934/35 and is dedicated to the eminent German cellist Ludwig Hoelscher. The work was premiered at the Reichssender München around 1935. The artists at the premiere were Ludwig Hoelscher (cello) and Theodor Hausmann (piano). The score of the work was published a year later by Kistner & Siegel. In March 1939 a critic wrote about the composition in the German journal "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik":


"This is a great success of a master. [..] This impressive composition is dedicated to Ludwig Hoelscher [..] who permanently puts this excellent sonata in his concert programs. One can totally agree with an attendee at the world premiere who said that this work demands a "place of honour" in the cello repertoire."


The work received dozens of performances in following years and always critical acclaim. But after World War II the composer Theodor Hausmann and his cello sonata fell into oblivion.


I compared the printed score by Kistner & Siegel with the autograph manuscripts in my possession and noticed many mistakes and differences. Especially interesting is the autograph solo part, because it shows performance markings and many corrections written in it. Due to the fact that only Ludwig Hoelscher performed the cello sonata by Hausmann (as far as I know) it seems likely that the corrections in the cello part were made by him. I took the time to typeset a corrected score of the cello sonata, omitting the printing errors from the Kistner & Siegel edition as well as adding the Hoelscher corrections. Kistner & Siegel still holds the copyrights on the cello sonata and therefore I am not allowed to publish my score here for free. But if you are interested in the Cello sonata by Theodor Hausmann, please contact me anyway and we can surely arrange with Kistner & Siegel a way to look into my edition.

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