Max Zenger

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Max Zenger (born February 2, 1837 in Munich ; † November 16, 1911 there ) was a German composer , conductor, teacher and music writer.


Max Zenger was a son of Karolina and Franz Xaver Zenger , Professor of Law at the University of Munich. Five of the seven siblings died as small children, including the twin sister Maria. After graduating from high school in 1855 at Munich's Maximiliansgymnasium - with Hugo von Maffei , among others - Zenger was initially enrolled in the basic course (philosophy department) at Munich University in the winter semester of 1855/56. There he became a member of the Corps Isaria . Then he switched to studying music, first with Professor Ludwig Stark at the Stuttgart Music Academy, then largely self-taught, including 1859 to 1860 in Leipzig . From 1860 he worked as a composer, conductor of the citizens' guild and as a music consultant for the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" and the "Münchner Neuesten Nachrichten" in Munich. In 1868/69 he worked as Kapellmeister at the Stadttheater in Regensburg and in 1869 moved to the Hofbühne in Munich as music director . In 1872 Zenger was appointed music director of the court orchestra at the Grand Ducal Badischer Hoftheater in Karlsruhe , but returned to Munich in 1877. There he worked as the musical director of the Academic Choral Society and from 1878 to 1885 as the conductor of the Oratorio Society . From 1880 he taught singing, harmony and music history at the royal music school and was appointed professor in 1882.

Max Zenger - he was considered a “grim Wagner hater” - composed several operas, music based on works by Goethe and Schiller, an oratorio, two symphonies as well as songs, choral and orchestral works. He was also active as a music writer and critic. His students are named: Hermann Gura (1870–1944), baritone, Georg Weinschütz (1871–1949), instrumentalist, Frida Felser , soprano, and Max Weinschütz (before 1894 – after 1929), composer and entertainer.

Max Zenger married Maria Holzer (1851-1888) in Karlsruhe in 1872, an apprentice at the Grand Ducal Baden court theater. In 1892 he entered into a second marriage in Munich with Susanna Reissner, the daughter of a guard and barracks keeper (* 1870). The three children in this marriage died in childhood.


Grave of Max Zenger on the old southern cemetery in Munich location

The tomb of Max Zenger is on the old southern cemetery in Munich (burial ground 12 - Series 2 - 55th) Location .


There has been a Max-Zenger-Strasse in Munich- Bogenhausen since 1918 .

Works (selection)

  • The Foscari , tragic opera with ballet in three acts by Gustav Gans zu Putlitz (based on Giuseppe Verdi's opera “I due Foscari”). 1859/61; First performance: Munich, January 11, 1863; Conductor: Franz Lachner
  • Ruy Blas , opera in 4 acts by Carl Theodor von Heigel based on the drama by Victor Hugo (manuscript), 1863/64; First performance June 4, 1868 Hoftheater Mannheim; Conductor: Vinzenz Lachner
  • Wieland the blacksmith , opera in 4 acts by Philipp Allfeld after Karl Simrock , 1873–1879; First performance in Munich 1881, revised to 3 acts, Munich 1895
  • 3 ballets for separate performances by Ludwig II , 1880/81: 1. At Schloss Bellevue (ballet master: Franz Fenzl), Munich 1881; 2. Les Plaisiers de l'île enchantée , Munich 1881; 3. Cupid and Psyche. A court festival of Louis XIV , Munich 1882
  • Faust I / Faust II , music to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , from 1880; First performance in Munich 1888 (Faust I); Conductor: Richard Strauss ; Faust II: Munich 1895
  • Eros and Psyche , opera in three acts by Wilhelm Schriefer, 1897; First performance: Munich, January 11, 1903
  • Recitative to Étienne-Nicolas Méhul : Joseph in Egypt , 1873
  • Cain , based on George Gordon Noel Byron's Mysterium ” freely edited by Theodor Heigel; for solo voices, choir and orchestra [1866/67], printed by Siegel, Leipzig approx. 1872
  • Eros and Psyche . Five songs for soprano with accompaniment of the pianoforte., Op. 28, Kistner, Leipzig; First edition. Dedicated to Adelina Patti
  • Where golden wine flashes in the goblet , composition for male choir (text by Julius Wolff ), 1904
  • Ibikus's cranes , melodrama (after Friedrich Schiller ), op. 80: not listed


  • Outline of music history. C. Wolff & Sohn, Munich 1894.
  • Max Zenger. A self-inspection. For his 70th birthday. In: Allgemeine Zeitung Munich, February 1, 1907, pp. 2-4
  • History of the Munich Opera. Posthumous work ed. by Theodor Kroyer , Munich 1923.


  • Arthur Seidl: Eros and Psyche. In: AS: The successor to Wagner in music drama. Sketches and studies on the criticism of modern opera. Schuster, Berlin 1901.
  • Friedrich Jansa (Ed.): German Tonkünstler. 1911 (photo).
  • Hermann von der Pfordten : Max Zenger †. In: Munich Latest News. No. 541, November 19, 1911, p. 2.
  • Biographical yearbook and German necrology. 17, 1915.
  • Zenger, Max . In: Alfred Einstein (Ed.): Riemann Musiklexikon . 11th edition. tape 2 : M-Z . Max Hesses Verlag, Berlin 1929, p. 2077 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  • The Bayerland. Oldest Bavarian magazine for culture and tradition, current affairs, economy and technology, art, environmental issues, regional development and tourism 23, Pfaffenhofen ad Ilm 1912, p. 179 (photo).
  • Karl Bosl (Hrsg.): Bosl's Bavarian biography. 8000 personalities from 15 centuries. Pustet, Regensburg 1983.
  • Karl-Josef Kutsch , Leo Riemens : Large singer lexicon . Saur, Munich 2003, Volume 4 (Kainz-Menkes), p. 1428 (Felser, Frida), 1898 (Gura, Hermann), 2407 (Koboth, Irina), 2016, 5236, 5307.
  • German Theater Lexicon. Biographical and bibliographical handbook by Wilhelm Kosch , continued by Ingrid Bigler-Marschall. De Gruyter, 38./39. Delivery: Zeller-Zyset, Berlin 2011, p. 3751.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The eldest sister Mathilde (1830-1896) married the public prosecutor Philipp Allfeld.
  2. ^ Annual report on the K. Maximilians-Gymnasium in Munich for the school year 1854/55.
  3. ^ Rudolf Louis: The German music of the present. Severus Verlag, Hamburg 1912; Reprint of the original edition from 1909, p. 202.
  4. Max Joseph Hufnagel: Famous dead in the southern cemetery in Munich. ISBN 3-924078-00-9 , p. 145.