Casimir Meister grew up in Murten and attended high school in Einsiedeln . After his first piano and organ lessons, he received further musical training in Lausanne with Carl Eschmann-Dumur (piano) and Charles Blanchet (organ), from 1889 to 1891 at the Royal Music School in Munich with Joseph Rheinberger , Heinrich Schwartz and Ludwig Abel and from 1891 to 1892 at the Conservatoire de Paris with Théodore Dubois (composition), Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot (piano) and Charles-Marie Widor (organ).
From 1892 to 1893 Meister worked in Bulle as music director. In this function he was organist, choir and orchestra conductor. Here he got to know the Gruyère folk songs. In 1894 he moved to Glarus , where until 1898 he directed the male choir “Frohsinn” as well as the mixed choir and orchestra. In addition, he was organist at the Protestant town church.
In 1898 Casimir Meister was elected singing teacher at the city schools in Solothurn . He held this position until 1934. At the same time he took over the leadership of the men's choir and the Cecilia Society . The two clubs performed works by Bach and Handel, among others .
In 1921 Casimir Meister had to give up the direction of the two large choirs for health reasons. After his recovery, the cathedral choir called him in 1922 as Kapellmeister at St. Ursenkathedrale in Solothurn; under his direction, masses by Anton Bruckner , Hans Huber , Franz Liszt , Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Franz Schubert were performed.
Casimir Meister created four masses as well as offertories and hymns , but also secular choral works, instrumental music for orchestra, piano, organ, as well as wind and chamber music. His settings of « Liedli ab em Land » by the Solothurn writer and seminar teacher Josef Reinhart became very well known . They soon became popular as folk songs and were widely used in school hymn books. The first bars of the song melody of «D'Zyt isch do, d'Zyt isch do! singt's uf em Nussbaum scho ‹guggu› »sounded from December 1926 to the end of 1966 as a pause signal on Radio Bern.
In the first half of the 20th century, Casimir Meister played an important role in the musical life of the city of Solothurn as a student, teacher and friend of a number of Solothurn musicians and composers, among others through his collaboration with Richard Flury and Dino Ghisalberti . His daughter Hélène Meister worked as a cathedral organist and piano teacher.
Casimir Meister had been married to Marie, née Dinichert, from Murten since 1894. The couple had five children. He died on December 22, 1941 after a brief illness.
The estate was handed over by the heirs of the Solothurn Central Library in 1955 . The musicologist Hans-Rudolf Dürrenmatt arranged and recorded it and added information about the holdings of printed sheet music in the Solothurn Central Library. The catalog was published in 2009 in the series of the Solothurn Central Library.
- Hans-Rudolf Dürrenmatt: Casimir Meister, 1869–1941. List of handwritten and printed works in the Solothurn Central Library. Central Library, Solothurn 2009. ISBN 978-3-9523134-2-8 (Publications of the Central Library Solothurn; 31)
- Article master, Casimir . In: Swiss Lexicon. Popular edition. Visp 1999, vol. 8, p. 61. ISBN 3-9521749-1-2
- Article master, Casimir . In: New Swiss Biography. Report House, Basel 1938. p. 346.
- Directory of the handwritten and printed works in the Solothurn Central Library by Casimir Meister (1869–1941) , at abfragen.zbsolothurn.ch
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Swiss composer, church musician and collector of folk songs|
|DATE OF BIRTH||November 22, 1869|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Matzendorf SO|
|DATE OF DEATH||December 22, 1941|
|Place of death||Solothurn|