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A Portrait of Mendelssohn$
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Clive Brown

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300095395

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300095395.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 04 June 2020

• The Singakademie

• The Singakademie

(p.115) 17 • The Singakademie
A Portrait of Mendelssohn

Clive Brown

Yale University Press

Over a thirteen-year period, Felix Mendelssohn had an exceptionally productive and influential professional career, thanks to his iron self-discipline and capacity for hard work. Mendelssohn believed that the pursuit of a public career was a moral obligation, a principle that influenced his decision to apply as director of the Berlin Singakademie after Carl Friedrich Zelter's death. The subject of a professional career has been mentioned several times in Mendelssohn's letters to his family during his travels from 1830 to 1832. Mendelssohn went from Paris to London in April 1832 and returned directly to Berlin in late June. In Berlin, he initially declined to run for the directorship of the Berlin Singakademie opposite Carl Friedrich Rungenhagen, who had been Zelter's vice-director since 1815. In a formal election held on January 22, 1833, Mendelssohn received 88 votes, losing to Rungenhagen who got 148 votes. Mendelssohn was deeply disappointed, not for his failure to obtain the post but for the unpleasantness and humiliation that characterized the contest.

Keywords:   election, professional career, Berlin Singakademie, Carl Friedrich Zelter, Berlin, Carl Friedrich Rungenhagen

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