Max Schlossberg (1873 - 1936)
Max Schlossberg was
born on 5 November 1873 in Libau, the capital of Courland (now Liepāja
in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, 23 September 1936.
"At the same time
that certain Western European musicians were emigrating eastward to
some Russians were moving westward to the United States. Which
(Edward H. Tarr "East meets West, Chaper
6. Two Russian
Immigrants to the United Stats: Max Schlossberg and Vladimir Drucker, page
His father Nathan Schlossberg (1847 – 1932) arrived in New York on
October 1888. Max Schlossberg came to America in 1894, age 21. He
less than a year and then returned to Riga. In 1902 he married Jenny
Lohak (1879- 1947) from Riga. Jenny and Max arrived on S/S Pretoria at Ellis Island on 1
in 1902 *)
At age 9 he went to
Moscow to join with his elder brother Joseph. In the biography in Daily
Drills, it mentions the names of the professors at the Moscow
Conservatory: Marquard, Putkammer and Adolph Sauer.
Schlossberg moved to St. Petersburg – he probably met Victor
Wilhelm Wurm there.
Later he studied in Berlin with Julius Kosleck (1825-1905) - sometime
1889 and 1894. He toured under
Arthur Nikisch, Hans Richter and Felix Weingartner.
In 1897 and 1898 he was
bandmaster of the 171th Regiment in Riga, and conducted at the Russian
Club Theatre in the same city.
The first years in New York he supported himself as a
free-lancer playing in park bands and at weddings. He also played with
the Goldman Band at their summer concerts.
Between 1910 and 1936 Schlossberg was a member of the New York
has by many been called the
Founder of the American Schools of Trumpet Playing.
In his book
East Meets West,
Edward H. Tarr has described how Schlossberg
brought the trumpet tradition from the East (Russia and Germany) to
USA. Tarr also stated the following:
became the master teacher of his time. Virtually all the professional
of the following generation studied with him at one time or another."
an article about William Vacchiano
(ITG Journal, May 1995, page 11 - 13) there is a section called
corner apartment of 811 Walton Avenue in The
Bronx, in the block situated between Yankee Stadium and The Bronx
County Court House, both of which are visible from the corner of the
street intersection overlooked by his studio. The Schlossberg apartment
was entered at the front of a long hall. Students were usually greeted
by Mrs. Schlossberg, Jenny (1879-1947).
hall following the entrance to the apartment
were several doors opening into their respective rooms. The teaching
studio was at the end of the hall facing directly the main entrance to
the apartment. There was a small anteroom in which students arriving
early deposited their belongings, and in which they and their parents
could wait. The studio was placed at the external corner of the
exterior of the building, as far from the general living quarters of
the Schlossberg neighbors as was possible.
The studio was
a square room (3 m X 3 m). The walls were covered with photos of
trumpet players. Schlossberg taught sitting at the right and behind the
student. By this he would evaluate the student based on what he heard
and not what he saw. His teaching was founded on 3 methods, Arban,
Saint-Jacome and Sachse. For each student he would write exercises
almost like a doctor prescribing medicine. The drills he wrote were
mostly based on orchestral repertoire. Some of the drills and exercises
were later compiled by Harry Freistadt (see below).
Soon after his arrivals to America, he became a member of the Institute
of Musical Art (IMA) and later the Julliard Graduate School. Almost all
his teaching was from his home studio.
William Vacchiano was
with Schlossberg for five years (1930 - 1935). Below is a list of some
other well known players who studied with Schlossberg:
Some of his students
Elden E. Benge
His son-in-law, Harry Freistadt, compiled the groups of exercises
forming the Schlossberg method.
Daily Drills and Technical Studies
for Trumpet, was first published in 1937 by J. & F. Hill in
New York (copyright passed to M. Baron, Inc. in 1938).
The book is subdivided into 8 parts:
1. Long Note Drills,
Exercise No. (1-37)
4. Lip Drills,
5. Chord Drills,
6. Scale Drills,
Scale Drills, (116-128)
Bach Stradivarius Bb, number 1364, bore .462,
Valve: model B, fit-very tight
Bell Mandril: 6L, Bell Brass: G45
(Date Completed August 24, 1929)
His son-in-law, Harry Freistadt inherited this trumpet.
Edward H. Tarr "East meets West:the Russian trumpet tradition from the
time of Peter the Great", 1. edition 2003, chapter 6.
Founder of the American Schools of Trumpet
Playing in the Twentieth Century, André M. Smith
* Norman M. Canter, MD,surgeon, grand nephew of Max Schlossberg - info
provided in several emails
Norman M. Canter: "I think that he did
not come through Ellis Island - the other route was
via Castle Garden, and the family always prided itself that nobody came
through Ellis Island"
- Norman M.
to make this web page.
- Naomi Freistadt,
Max Schlossbergs grand daughter for information!