About Julius Röntgen

Julius Engelbert Röntgen (9 May 1855 – 13 September 1932) was a German-Dutch composer of classical music.

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Julius was a gifted child. Neither he nor his sisters attended school; he was taught music by his parents and grandparents, and other subjects by private tutors. His first piano teacher was Carl Reinecke, the director of the Gewandhaus orchestra, while his early compositions were influenced by Reinecke, but also by Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms.

At the age of 18 he became a professional pianist. During a concert tour through southern Germany he became acquainted with the singer Julius Stockhausen; at this time he also met a Swedish music student Amanda Maier, whom he would marry in 1880.

In 1877 Röntgen had to make a decision whether to go to Vienna or Amsterdam. He chose Amsterdam, and he accepted a position as head teacher at the Music School of the “Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Toonkunst” in Amsterdam.

Röntgen played an important part in establishing institutions for classical music in Amsterdam. In 1883, in association with composers Frans Coenen and Daniel de Lange, Röntgen founded the Amsterdam Conservatory. In 1884 Röntgen was heavily involved in the foundation of the Concertgebouw.

In 1888 Röntgen had several concerts in which Anna Witsen performed as a soprano singer, amongst others on November 26th 1888 in Odéon, Amsterdam.

In 1894 his wife Amanda Meier dies. The last seven years of her life she was much ill, probably as a result of a previous TB infection. Abrahamine (Mien) des Amorie van der Hoeven became his second wife. In 1892 she decided to take lessons from Julius Röntgen and therefore regularly visited the house in the Van Baerlestraat no. 13, where Julius and Amanda lived. She witnessed the sad times during Amanda’s illness. In 1897 they get married.

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