December 11, 1758, Berlin, Germany.

May 15, 1832, Berlin, Germany.

Sophienkirche, Berlin, Germany.


Zelter was a self taught composer, conductor and music teacher. Working in his father’s bricklaying business, Zelter also attained mastership in that profession.

A friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Zelter’s works include settings of Goethe’s poems. During his career, Zelter composed about two hundred lieder, as well as cantatas, a viola concerto and piano music. At various times, he taught Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny Mendelssohn, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Eduard Grell, Otto Nicolai, Johann Friedrich Naue, and Heinrich Dorn.

  1. Orrington