BRUCH, Max [1838-1920]

The famous German composer Max Bruch conducted the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1877 and 1879 and in 1880 he accepted an offer to return to the city as Principal Conductor. He stayed in the post for three years, during which time he conducted world premieres of two of his works (Three Hebrew Songs and Kol Nidrei).

Not long after taking up post Bruch, aged 42, married the 16-year-old Clara Tuczek. They rented a large three storey house at 18 Brompton Avenue L17 and their first daughter, Margarethe, was born in Liverpool on 29th August 1882.

As is revealed in Bruch’s correspondence at the time, his period with the orchestra was not without its difficulties. He was irked that the society’s committee, rather than he, had the final say on all repertoire and performers. Other complaints were that “our concerts begin too late, and the interval is too long” and Liverpool concertgoers did not escape his strictures as he asked the committee to do something about “a small minority of our public who are always talking awfully during the performance of instrumental works”.

At the beginning of 1883 Bruch tendered his resignation as he had been offered a position in Breslau.

18 Brompton Avenue L17

The house in which Bruch lived and where his first child was born.


There is a Wikipedia entry for Bruch. A short account of his time with the Liverpool Philharmonic can be found in The Original Liverpool Sound: The RLPO Story  by Darren Henley and Vincent McKernan [Liverpool University Press 2009].