Bernhard Romberg

Bernhard Romberg was taught the cello by his father Bernhard. He and his cousin Andreas would accompany their fathers on tours and they themselves toured Europe between the years 1784 and 1796 achieving well deserved renown. When they played at the Concert Spirituel in Paris, 1784 and 1785, their performances were received with applause. Both Bernhard and Andreas were members of the electoral orchestra in Bonn from 1790 until 1793 with the young Beethoven. In 1796 they met Haydn (establishing with him a good rapport) and performed in concert with Beethoven. In 1801 Bernhard toured Spain on his own obtaining a teaching post at Paris Conservatory for a short time thereafter. Romberg joined the Royal Court orchestra at Berlin in 1805 followed by a lengthy concert tour which brought him to London in 1814. By 1816 Bernhard had acceded to the position of Hofkapellmeister at Berlin but never achieved the status of an operatic conductor. He continued his solo cello career even after settling in Hamburg in 1820. Bernhard's cello playing was facile and gentle allows accorded by clarity of tone. His "Methode de violoncelle" (1840) provides a great deal of information about his own method of playing. He composed ten symphonies, five operas (only three were produced), ten violoncello concertos and an assortment of chamber works. Romberg's "Trauer-Symphonie," opus twenty three, and the "Children's Symphony," opus sixty two, were particularly popular. ~ Keith Johnson

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