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Max Kästl

Max Kästl was born on 9 February 1862 in Munich (Germany). He was a music prodigy and later studied at the conservatories in Munich and Leipzig.

His first position after his studies and military service was music director of the Kurkapelle in Bad Kissingen. Then he moved to Vienna and later toured through Europe as soloist. He also became music director of the orchestra in the Royal Theatre in Munich.

In 1892 Max Kästl became violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and permanently moved to the US. One year later Max Kästl switched his position and became concertmaster in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and also taught violin at the newly founded Peabody Preparatory Department. Max Kästl suffered from chronic nephritis since his 30s which forced him to stop performing time and again. In his last years he was part of the Washington Orchestra under Reginald de Koven.

Max Kästl died from Bright's disease on 31 October 1907 in Baltimore (USA).


Max Kästl also composed a few works. Among his compositions are a Concert-polka for 4 recorder, guitar, tromba marina, timpani and triangle, a "Pfarrer-Kneipp-Marsch" for piano and a Violin concerto.


In my possession is the handwritten, most likely autograph score of the violin concerto by Max Kästl. The score is for violin and piano with additional violin part. It is unknown if an orchestral version ever existed. The title page of the score gives the name of the composition as "Komisches Violinconcert" (Funny violin concerto). The German title as well as the fact that the score was found in Germany makes it likely that the work was composed by Max Kästl during his time in Europe. So a composition date around 1885 seems reasonable. The manuscripts have a personal stamp of "Jos. Greif", but I could not identify which "Josef Greif" this could be.


The score of the Violin concerto by Max Kästl can be downloaded below:

PDF-Dokument [158.6 KB]
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© Tobias Broeker