Friedrich Sieger

Tchaikovsky Research

Musical writer, critic, director of the Frankfurt-am-Main Museum-Gesellschaft (b. 1848; d. 1924).

After Tchaikovsky's concert on 3/15 January 1889 at the prestigious venue of the Museum-Gesellschaft, Sieger was very keen for the Russian composer to return to Frankfurt during the next winter season. Tchaikovsky had great misgivings about the conservative stamp of audiences and musicians alike in Frankfurt (which had partly been responsible for his decision to drop the overture The Year 1812 from the concert he conducted in the city in January 1889), but he did accept Sieger's offer to conduct at the Museum-Gesellschaft again on 2/14 March 1890 [1]. The latter hoped in particular that Tchaikovsky would acquaint the Frankfurt public with the orchestral fantasia Francesca da Rimini, which he considered to be a masterpiece. Tchaikovsky did not, however, give any concerts at all in the first half of 1890, since he was absorbed in the composition of The Queen of Spades, but later that year he did promise Sieger again that he would return to Frankfurt and conduct Francesca, as well as the Serenade for String Orchestra, at the Museum-Gesellschaft on 1/13 February 1891 [2]. Unfortunately, this concert did not work out either due to other engagements, and Tchaikovsky duly apologised to Sieger, who had shown such sincere enthusiasm for his music [3].

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

4 letters from Tchaikovsky to Friedrich Sieger have survived, dating from 1889 to 1891, of which those highlighted in bold have been translated into English on this website:

5 letters from Sieger to Tchaikovsky, dating from 1889 and 1890, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.


Notes and References

  1. Letter 3943 to Friedrich Sieger, 1/13 October 1889.
  2. Letter to Friedrich Sieger, 15/27 July 1890. This letter seems to have been lost, but Sieger refers to it (giving the exact date) in his letter to Tchaikovsky from Frankfurt on 23 December 1890 [N.S.], which is included (in Russian translation) in Чайковский и зарубежные музыканты (1970), p. 61–64.
  3. Letter 4293b to Friedrich Sieger, 6/18 January 1891. In his letter to Tchaikovsky of 23 July 1890 [N.S.] Sieger had spoken admiringly of The Sleeping Beauty, which he had studied in the piano transcription, "though I lament that I do not have the chance to hear this music so full of charm and gracefulness in an orchestral performance" — see Чайковский и зарубежные музыканты (1970), p. 63.