Franz Curti

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Jean Baptist Joseph Francis Henry Curti (* 16th November 1854 in Kassel , † 6. February 1898 in Dresden ) was a German opera - composer .

Franz Curti (1854–1898) opera composer photography by Tillmann-Matter, Mannheim
Franz Curti


Franz Curti was the son of the lawyer and court opera singer Anton Curti (1820–1887) and his wife, Marie Clementine, b. Graebner (1827-1898). Since his father performed many engagements in Europe's opera houses, Franz Curti grew up with his uncle in Rapperswil, Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Zurich from 1864 . In addition to school lessons, he also learned to play the piano , organ and violin . After graduating from high school in 1871, he traveled to Italy to recover from a lung disease , where he was impressed by opera practice.

He then completed his medical studies in Berlin in 1880 with the state examination and then opened a dental practice in Dresden. In addition to his job, he took composition lessons from Edmund Kretschmer (1830–1908) and Heinrich Schulz-Beuthen (1838–1915). In 1882 Curti published his first work, “Die Gletscherjungfrau”, and his first opera “Hertha” was awarded the gold medal for art and science by Duke Ernst I of Saxony-Altenburg in 1887 . The international breakthrough came in 1896, two years before his death, with the opera "Lili-Tsee". Curti did not see the world premiere of his last opera “Das Rösli vom Säntis ” in 1898, as he died that same year at the age of only 44. He left behind many songs and choral works that were very much influenced by German Romanticism , but also repeatedly dealt with Switzerland, which was perceived as home, and was widely spread there.

Curti had been married to the daughter of the Dresden art historian Friedrich von Boetticher , Eugenie von Boetticher (born 1858), since 1880 . The couple had four children: Johanna Eugenie (1881–1957), Friedrich Albert (1883–1949), Hertha (1887–1978) and Reinhard Johannes (1890–1972).

Curti was buried in the Johannisfriedhof in Dresden.


  • In 1901 a street was named after Curti in the Loschwitz district of Dresden (Franz-Curti-Straße).
  • In 2000, a square at the port in Rapperswil was given its name (Curti-Platz).
  • In 2005 there was a concert in Geneva with performances of his compositions.

Works (selection)

Male choirs:

  • If I were the moonlight, in: Six vocal quartets, op. 2
  • Twice Spring, op.8
  • Four men's quartets, op.12
  • Peace of the Night, op.17
  • The Battle (F. v. Schiller), op.45

Songs for voice:

  • At the lake, op.6
  • Ave Maria, op.7
  • Beatitude, op.11
  • The Maria Lullaby, op.16

Incidental music and operas:

  • Die Gletscherjungfrau (M. Vollhardt-Wittich), cantata (later reworked into an opera), 1882
  • Hertha (M. Vollhardt-Wittich), 1887
  • Reinhard von Ufenau, 1889
  • Redeemed, 1895
  • Lili-Tsee, 1896
  • The Rösli from Säntis, 1898

Instrumental music:

  • Symphony in B flat major, op.14
  • Semele (F. v. Schiller), 1887
  • Switzerland, orchestral suite, 1892
  • Schneeried, 1895


  • Siegfried Raschke: Franz Curti . In: Institute for Saxon History and Folklore (Ed.): Saxon Biography .
  • Obituary. In: Dresden Art. Weekly for music, literature and the visual arts. 1898, issue 20, pp. 335f.
  • Curti and the Dresden Tonkünstler Association. In: Dresden Art. Weekly for music, literature and the visual arts. 1898, issue 22, p. 375 (with picture).
  • Franz Curti. In: Biographisches Jahrbuch and Deutscher Nekrolog. Vol. 3, Berlin 1900, pp. 75f.
  • Franz Curti. In: E. Refardt: Historical-biographical music dictionary of Switzerland. Leipzig 1928, p. 128f.
  • Jean-Marie Curti, Gisela Dahl: Franz Curti. Edition Opéra-studio, Geneva 2005.

Individual evidence

  1. The Rösli from Säntis
  3. Hellmut von Boetticher: News about the Boetticher family, Kurländische Linie. 11th episode, Hanover 1995, p. 78.

Web links