Born: Oc­to­ber 6, 1827, Wup­per­tal-Cro­nen­berg, Ger­ma­ny.

Died: June 3, 1888, Leip­zig, Ger­ma­ny.


Son of a phar­ma­cist, Rei­del is re­mem­bered as a cho­ral con­duct­or and com­pos­er.

Though al­ways mu­sic­al­ly in­clined, he was orig­in­al­ly trained for bu­si­ness, and was in the silk trade in Ly­ons un­til 1848, when he de­cid­ed to make mu­sic his pro­fess­ion.

He re­turned home and be­gan ser­i­ous stu­dy un­der the di­rect­ion of Karl Wil­helm, lat­er known as au­thor of Die Wacht am Rhein.

Late in 1849, Rie­del en­tered the Leip­zig Con­ser­va­to­ri­um, where he made great pro­gress un­der Mo­scheles, Mo­ritz Haupt­mann, Beck­er and Plai­dy.

Riedel prac­ticed and per­formed in a pri­vate so­ci­e­ty at Leipz­ig As­tor­ga’s Sta­bat, Pa­les­tri­na’s lm­pro­pe­ria and Leo’s Mi­ser­e­re.

This led him to found a sing­ing so­ci­ety of his own, which be­gan on May 17, 1854, with a sim­ple quar­tet of male voic­es, and was the foun­da­tion of the fa­mous as­so­ci­a­tion which, un­der the name of the Rie­delsche Ve­rein, be­came cel­e­brat­ed in Leip­zig.

The first pub­lic con­cert was in No­vem­ber 1855, and its first great achieve­ment was a per­form­ance of Bach’s B Mi­nor Mass on Ap­ril 10, 1859.

Among works per­formed by the group were Beet­ho­ven’s Mass in D, Kiel’s Chris­tus, Ber­li­oz’ Messe des Morts, and Liszt’s Gran­er Messe and St. Eliz­a­beth.

Rie­del was one of the found­ers of the Beet­ho­ven­stift­ung, and an ear­nest sup­port­er of the Wag­ner per­form­anc­es at Bay­reuth in 1876.

Riedel’s own com­po­si­tions were most­ly part-songs for male voic­es, but he ed­it­ed se­ver­al an­cient works by Prae­tor­i­us, Franck, Jo­hann Ec­card and oth­er old Ger­man writ­ers.