FRIEDRICH AUGUST KUMMER (1797 - 1879)
Frédéric Kummer (originally Friedrich August Kummer) was born on 5th August, 1797, in Meiningen, which from 1680 to 1920 was the capital of the Duchy of Saxe- Meiningen. A pupil of his father, a court oboist in Meiningen and Dresden (where the family moved when Kummer was very young), he later studied under Justus Johann Friedrich Dotzauer (1783-1860), one of the founders of what Lev Ginsburg called the Dresden School of celloplaying. He joined the Dresden electoral court orchestra in 1814 as an oboist and in 1817 transferred to the cello section. In 1852 he replaced his teacher as principal cellist and remained in this position until his retirement. Kummer toured in the 1820s and 1830s, giving recitals in Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin, Weimar, and further afield in Vienna, Prague, Milan, and Copenhagen. He was a member of a quartet that also featured François Schubert and Karol Lipiński; Kummer and Schubert often collaborated as a duo apart from the quartet, “enchanting audiences by their amazing sense of ensemble playing”. He was appointed a professor at the Dresden Conservatory at its founding in 1856 and counted many fine cellists as his students, including his two sons Ernst and Max, Bernhard Cossman, and Julius Goltermann. Kummer composed over 400 works, of which approximately 200 were published. Among these works are 200 entrʼactes written for the theatre, virtuoso works for cello, and pedagogical works. Kummerʼs Violoncello-Schule, Op. 60 (1839), or Cello Method, is still in print; other pedagogical works include Ten Melodic Studies, Op. 57, and Grand Etudes, Op. 44. Kummer died in Dresden on 22nd August, 1879.