Nikolaus Simrock (born August 23, 1751 in Mainz , † June 12, 1832 in Bonn ) was a French horn player at the Cologne court in Bonn, a friend of Ludwig van Beethoven and founder of the music publisher N. Simrock.
Nikolaus Simrock was born as the son of the Electoral Mainz corporal Johannes Heinrich Simmerock (1721–1788) and Dorothea Sopp (1722–1781) in Mainz. Before he was 16, he joined a French military band as a horn player, where he served for nine years. Back in the Rhineland, he applied to the Cologne elector Maximilian Friedrich for a job in his Bonn court orchestra, to which he was accepted by order of March 23, 1775 on April 1, 1775 as a "French horn player" with an annual salary of 300 guilders. The court orchestra was directed by Beethoven's grandfather Ludwig van Beethoven (singer) , Beethoven's father Johann van Beethoven was a tenor there and the young Ludwig van Beethoven was later employed as a pianist. In 1781 he was granted an allowance of 100 guilders "from the chatulle" of the elector, three years later the new elector Maximilian Franz of Austria increased his salary by a further 100 guilders.
Simrock was one of the most famous enlighteners in the royal Cologne residence. Like his colleagues Franz Anton Ries and Christian Gottlob Neefe, he was a member of the Minervalkirche Stagira in Bonn, an association of the Order of Illuminati . After its dissolution, he was a founding member of the Bonn Reading Society . He was also a member of the Bonn Masonic Lodge, Les frères courageux, founded in 1805 .
Simrock soon had the task of procuring the music for the court orchestra. He combined this assignment with the establishment of his own sales department for music and other articles (e.g. wine), as adverts in the “Bönnischer Intellektivenblatt” since 1785 show. In 1790, for example, he offered “papers of all kinds, envelopes, inks, paints, pencils and red pencils, penknives, paper scissors, tuning forks and hammers, old and new instruments, various types of pianos, violin and bass bows, as well as rosin and all kinds of music [ ...] of the best quality and at the cheapest prices. "
As part of his business activities, Nikolaus Simrock founded the N. Simrock music publisher in Bonn in 1793. At the same time he learned copper engraving and later had sheet music engraved and printed in copper in his copyist's workshop. Around 1783 he called himself Commissioner of the publishers Götz in Mannheim, Artaria in Vienna and Keller in Kassel. In 1787 he co-founded the Bonn Reading Society and held several municipal offices during the Napoleonic period. One reason for the success of this company was - in addition to Simrock's business acumen - his pro-French attitude, which paid off after the end of the electoral era during the occupation of Bonn and the Rhineland by French revolutionary troops, which began in 1794 .
Simrock's business was going well and was further promoted by his membership in the Illuminati order, with the Freemasons and as a member of the upscale Bonn society. When the court orchestra was dissolved in 1794, he had already created a publishing monopoly for individual artists such as Ludwig van Beethoven. In addition to many first publications by Joseph Haydn , Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy , the connection with Johannes Brahms , of whom over 80 works have been published by N. Simrock, is particularly exemplary.
In 1800 he opened the Simrock'schen Musikverlag in business premises at Bonngasse 391. The publisher must have brought him a considerable fortune; because from then on he bought what was only available in terms of land: the house in Bonngasse, the Wicheishof in Bonn, the Frohnhof in Niederbachem, which includes five smaller wineries, four houses in Bonn's Maargasse and Bonngasse, more than 20 large estates in Poppelsdorf, Kessenich and other (then still independent) districts of Bonn. The property acquired in 1803 on the corner of Bonngasse and Maargasse offered him space for sales and storage facilities, the printing works and the apartment and remained the publishing house's headquarters until 1870.
In 1827 Simrock's interest must have been directed to Honnef, because the Simrock shopping list, which was not completed until 1838, resulted in 86 properties that were acquired between 1827 and 1830. Almost all of them were in corridors 27, 28 and 29, i.e. the area around Hagerhof, Zickelburg, Menzenberg. With his wineries alone, Nikolaus Simrock was a large landowner on the spot by Honnef standards.
The immense property that Nikolaus Simrock bought in the Bonn area did not stay in the family long after the testator died. Of his thirteen children, eight were still alive when he died. The sons Karl and Joseph, owners of a lithographic institute in Bonn, and their brother-in-law Anton Keil, formerly a judicial officer who lived in Paris, were given the task of building the two Honnef wineries, the "Reuschische" and the "Neunkirchsche", to bring under the hammer.
Karl tried to save the property and submitted bids, which, however, were not recognized by the Royal Prussian Notary Carl Eilender, "because this bid was also far below the estimate, so that the requisitioners could not award the bid for this and canceled the meeting, which I made the notary known to those present. " After the failed auction attempt, the heirs agreed on a "Nathurell division". The notary divided the property accordingly into eight lots:
Lot 1: The Wichelshof in Bonn. Lot 2: The domain winery "Im Reuschenberg", Menzenberg near Honnef, leased from Jacob Reusch. Lot 3: The Niederbachemer Frohnhof, almost 80 acres in size. Lot 4: House No. 394 in Maargasse. Lot 5: House No. 392 in Maargasse, plus around thirty pieces of land, some of which are considerably large, in the communities of Poppelsdorf, Kessenich, Endenich, Lengsdorf, Dottendorf and Bonn. Lot 6: House No. 391 in Bonngasse. Lot 7: The domain winery on Menzenberg leased from Barthei, then Bertram, now Heinrich Neunkirchen. Lot 8: House No. 505 in Bonngasse;
In 1834 Simrock's youngest son Karl, who had already won the fifth lot, bought the Neunkirchensche winery on Menzenberg (lot 7) from his sister Elise, who lived in Paris, for 2,367 thalers. That was exactly the same price that had already been rejected in the previous auction attempt. Karl wanted to buy this winery because he had already received permission to live there in 1832. After the purchase, he sold six seventh of the vineyards. In 1837 the Bonn major Karl von Wumb finally acquired most of the Honnef property from the heirs.
A Rhenish family
Nikolaus Simrock was married to Ottilie Franziska Blaschek from Mainz. Together they had 13 children. The Simrock couple thus founded a family that has written Rhenish cultural history for almost 200 years. One of the sons - Peter Joseph - took over the publishing business, another son was the operator of the "Trierer Hof" hotel on the market for many years and hosted Alexandre Dumas , among others . The youngest son, Karl , shaped the German literary history of the 19th century as a narrator and editor of Old and Middle High German literature.
Karl Simrock's son-in-law, August Reifferscheid from Bonn , was one of the prominent philologists at the end of the 19th century. A son from the marriage of August Reifferscheid and Anne Simrock, Heinrich Reifferscheid , has made a name for himself in particular as an eraser . His son Gerhard Reifferscheid (1913–2002) was a priest and religion teacher at the Beethovengymnasium in Bonn, which both his father and grandfather had attended as pupils. Another son of August Reifferscheid was the physician Karl Reifferscheid .
- Robert Eitner : Simrock, Nicolaus . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 34, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1892, p. 385 f.
- Marion Brück: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 24, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-11205-0 , p. 446 f. ( ). In:
- For Nikolaus Simrock, Karl Simrock , Heinrich Reifferscheidt , Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann see: Josef Niesen : Bonner Personenlexikon. 3rd, improved and enlarged edition. Bouvier, Bonn 2011, ISBN 978-3-416-03352-7 .
- Biography of Simrock on the website of the Bonn City Museum
- Correspondence between Nikolaus Simrock and Louis Spohr
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German French horn player at the electoral court and music publisher|
|DATE OF BIRTH||August 23, 1751|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Mainz|
|DATE OF DEATH||June 12, 1832|
|Place of death||Bonn|