Leopold de Maré (1862 - 1934)


Leopold Egbert de Maré  (Leopodus Echhentus de Maare, 1862 - 1934) joined the newly-formed Chicago Symphony in 1891 and served as principal horn in that orchestra from 1896 to 1922.  He was born in Rotterdam, Holland on February 13, 1862, the son of Florentius Egbertus De Maare and Louisa Drukker.  Genealogical sources state that he was a member of orchestras in Amsterdam and Berlin prior to coming to the United States in 1891.1

In March 1891, F. A. Schwab traveled to Europe for the purpose of recruiting musicians for the Theodore Thomas' new Chicago Orchestra.2 As a result Thomas hired Leopold de Maré as third horn, with Hermann Dutschke, Sr. as principal. 3  When Mr. Dutschke left after four seasons to become principal horn of the New York Philharmonic, Ernst Ketz 4 was recruited from the Gürzenich-Orchester, Cologne Germany as principal horn for the 1895-96 season. Upon Mr. Ketz's departure, Thomas observed that during the previous five years Leopold de Maré had developed to the point that he now considered him a superior player to his predecessor, Mr. Ketz, and appointed him solo horn.  Leopold's brother, Adrian de Maré, came from Amsterdam to replace him as third horn for the 1896-97 season. Mr. de Maré became a naturalized citizen of the United States on November 1, 1898. After retiring from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1922, Mr. de Maré continued to perform into his late sixties in radio broadcasts as soloist and member of the WGN Symphony Orchestra. He died on January 24, 1934, a couple of weeks short of his seventy-second birthday.

Two years after his immigration to the U.S., Mr. de Maré was joined by his wife, Erna (1859 - ), and sister Cornelia (1874 - ), arriving from Rotterdam on December 20, 1893.5 Erna passed away sometime after 1901, and in 1909 Leopold married Elsa Louise Beyer (1887 - )6

In addition to his regular services to the Chicago Symphony, Mr. de Maré was a frequent chamber soloist. (see performances listed below.) In the summers of 1900 and 1901 he toured with Bellstedt and Ballenberg's Band. From 1902 through 1912 he often performed at Christmas and Easter Celebrations, and other special occasions at the First Presbyterian Church of Chicago.

Solo and Chamber Music Performances
Titl, Serenade for Flute and Horn December 17, 1895, Art Institute
L. van Beethoven, Septet, op. 20 1897-98 season, Chicago Orchestra
W.A. Mozart, Sinfonia Concertante February 24-25, 1899, Chicago Orchestra
Brahms Trio, op. 40 August, 1899, Assembly Hall
F. Doppler, Das Waldvöglein, op. 21
Saint-Saens, Romance
September 21, 1900, Bellstedt's Band, Omaha
Titl, Serenade for Flute and Horn July 22, 1901,  and August 8, 1901, Bellstedt's Band, Omaha
[Christmas Celebration] December 28, 1902, , First Presbyterian Church
Franz Strauss, Nocturne for Horn 1903-04 season, Chicago Orchestra
Richard Wagner, excerpts from Das Rheingold, Siegfried, Die Walkure, Die Gotterdammerung, etc, with Mrs. Louise Hess-Fuchs, piano and Miss Josephine Driggs, Aeolian Orchestrelle.
February 18, 1903, "Bayreuth and the Wagner Festival", a lecture recital by Miss Anne Shaw Faulkner, Fullerton Hall Art Institute for the benefit of "La Rabida", a home for the sick babies and poor mothers of Chicago.
W. A. Mozart, Horn Concerto, K.495 1904-05 season, Chicago Orchestra
Arne Oldberg, Woodwind Quintette
Arne Oldberg, Concerto for Horn
Herzogenberg, Woodwind Quintette in E flat
March 15, 1906, School of Music, Northwestern University
Richard Strauss, Horn Concerto, op. 11 March 20-21, 1908, Theodore Thomas Orchestra, and
May 5, 1908,  University of Michigan May Festival
[Easter Celebration] April 19, 1908, First Presbyterian Church
R. Wagner, Siegfried's Rhine Journey from Gotterdamerung
September 4, 1908,  Theodore Thomas Orchestra, Pittsburgh Exposition
[75th Anniversary Celebration] December 6  & 27, 1908, First Presbyterian Church
[Banquet of the Presbyterian Social Union] December 16, 1909, First Presbyterian Church
[Christmas Celebration] December 26, 1909, First Presbyterian Church
[Easter Celebration] March 27, 1910, First Presbyterian Church
[Christmas Celebration] December 25, 1910, First Presbyterian Church
Easter Celebration April 16, 1911, First Presbyterian Church
[Christmas Celebration] December 24, 1911, First Presbyterian Church
[Abraham Lincoln Memorial]
February 11, 1912, First Presbyterian Church
[Easter Celebration] April 7, 1912, First Presbyterian Church
L. van Beethoven, Quintette, op. 16
Arne Oldberg, Serenade Pastorale, op. 18
April 19, 1912, School of Music, Northwestern University
[Christmas Celebration]
December 29, 1912, First Presbyterian Church
Brahms Trio, op. 40
September 25-26, 1919, Pittsfield, Mass. Chamber Music Festival

Of the 1919 performance at the Pittsfield Chamber Music Festival The New York Times reported:"But the crown of the morning's work was a superb performance of Brahms horn trio by Harold Bauer, Jacques Gordon of the Berkshire Quartet, and Leopold de Mare, the first horn of the Chicago Orchestra, and a rare player, such a performance of this most beautiful and romantic of the Master's works is seldom heard and any performance of it is uncommon."


Many thanks to Bill Melton for supplying additional information and references pertaining to Hermann Dutschke and Ernst Ketz.Thanks, too, to Tom Martin, clarinetist with the Boston Symphony and Pops for the reference to the 1919 Pittsfield Chamber Festival.

1. These positions have not been confirmed. The Concertgebouw music hall in Amsterdam opened on April 11, 1888. Prior to that there was a succession of orchestras dating back to 1864: the Park Orchestra (Parkorkest), the Palace Orchestra (Paleisorkest) , The Amsterdam Orchestral Society (Amsterdamse Orkestvereeniging), and the orchestras of Felix Meritis and Benjamin Bilse. The first performance in the new Concertgebouw featured a chorus, orchestra, and soloists assembled and conducted by Henri Viotta. It was a monster concert that included Einzug der Gäste from Tannhäuser, Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, Suite in D by J.S. Bach, Der Herbst from Jahreszeitn by Haydn, and the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven. The first concert by the new resident Philharmonisch Orchestra followed the same year on November 4, 1888 in an interesting program that included the Symphony No. 3 (Irish) in F minor, op. 28 by Charles Villiers Stanford. The members of the orchestra were hand-selected by the director Willem Kes, who had previously led the Amsterdam Orchestral Society. It is certainly possible for Leopold de Maré to have been a member of any of these organizations in Amsterdam. He would not have stayed for long, however, if he were to move on to Berlin before coming to the United States in 1891.

2. Frederick A. Schwab was co-manager with John Levine of Levine's Musical Bureau, New York, which recruited, contracted, and provided management for musicians. He had been recruiting musicians for Thomas for over a decade. Ten years earlier Schwab had been sent to Europe by Thomas for the purpose of engaging artists for his 1881 Musical Festival in New York. Now, in March 1891, just as Schwab was leaving on his latest mission, the National League of Musicians was holding a convention in Milwaukee. A major topic on the agenda was the recruiting of foreign musicians in general and Thomas' new Chicago Orchestra in particular. Following the Thomas' death in 1904 the Chicago Orchestra was renamed the Theodore Thomas Orchestra before taking its present name, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1913.

3. Hermann Dutschke, Sr. was a member of horn of the New York Philharmonic from 1895 to 1913. He was born on July 17, 1855 in Obercunnersdorf, Saxony, Germany, and came to the United States on September 26, 1891. Prior to joining the Chicago Orchestra he had been a member of the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester (1883-84), the Theater Orchestra of Basel (1885), the Concertgebouw Orchestra (1888-89), and the Bavarian State Hofkapelle, Munich (1889-91). In his first season with the Chicago Symphony he performed the Horn Concerto, op.11 by Richard Strauss on January 29-30, 1892 which Mr. de Maré also performed on March 20-21, 1908. Moving to the New York Philharmonic in 1895, Mr. Dutschke was principal horn until 1909,  except for the 1902-03 season when he was replaced with Xaver Reiter by Walter Damrosch. In 1909 Gustav Mahler once again hired Reiter as solo horn; Mr. Dutschke continued in the section until 1913. In 1904 played the world premiere of Sinfonia Domestica with the composer, Richard Strauss conducting the Wetzler Symphony Orchestra in New York. Strauss wrote his first impression of Dutschke after a rehearsal: "The first hornist is Dutschke; good, but insecure at counting." Apparently Dutschke made his entrances correctly at the premiere, because Strauss' only comment referred to "the horns, who squeezed out their high A splendidly."  Mr. Dutschke was also active as a chamber musician while in Chicago and in New York. Mr. Dutschke died September 7, 1918. His son, Hermann Dutschke, Jr. was also a horn player in the New York Philharmonic (1920-23) and in the New York theaters.

4. Ernst Ketz (ca.1853 - ca.1901) had been a member of the Bilse'sche Kapelle formed by Benjamin Bilse in Berlin in 1867. In 1882 fifty-four of the members resigned from Bilse to form what soon became the Berlin Philharmonic. He was also a regular at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1886 to 1894. Mr. Ketz moved to Cologne to join the Gürzenich-Orchester where he performed the First Horn Concerto, op. 11 of Richard Strauss in 1891.  In April 1893 he came to the U.S. as a member of the Garde du Corps Cavalry Band commanded by staff trumpeter Gustav Herold as one of two military bands representing Germany in the Columbian Exposition. Two years later he returned to the U.S. to take the position of principal horn in the Chicago Orchestra arriving with his wife, Else, in New York on October 4, 1895.  During his year in Chicago, Mr, Ketz was called upon to perform with local chamber ensembles. Mrs Ketz, an accomplished alto who had sung at Bayreuth, also made several appearances. After only one season in Chicago he returned to the Gürzenich-Orchester in Cologne. By coming to Chicago he missed performing the world premiere of Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel on October 4, 1895 in Cologne, however he was the principal horn with Gürnzenich in the premiere of that composer's Don Quixote in 1898. Ferdinand Hummel dedicated his Nocturne for Violin, Cello, Horn, Harp and Organ to him. He was also the dedicatée of Cologne Conservatory colleague Ernst Heuser's (1863-1942) Andante appassionato für Waldhorn mit Begleitung des Pianoforte (1900).

5. Leopold and Erna had been married in 1886. In February, 1900 his sister, Cornelia brought suit against Mr. Albert Fuchs for $15,000 alleging breach of promise to marry her. Later that year, she had a daughter out of wedlock whom she named Erna C. L. de Maré. According to family researchers the child was placed in an "institute",  but in 1910 she was living with Leopold and his second wife, Else. She later went to live with Else's parents in Milwaukee and became a telephone operator for First Wisconsin Telephone Company.

6. Else was born May 16, 1887 and was some twenty-five years younger than Leopold. The couple had three children, Leona Marie. (b. November 19, 1910) Thomas Frederick Ernst (b. February 13, 1911) and Theodore (b. November 25, 1918), as well as raising Leopold's niece, Erna C. L. de Maré (see note 5). Thomas F. de Maré died on April 22, 1917 in Milwaukee and was apparently had been living with his grandparents, Ernst and Eleanore Beyer, along with his cousin Erna. Else's father, Ernst W. Beyer, was a music teacher in Milwaukee, and cellist in the Milwaukee Trio which included J. Erich Schmaal, piano, and Hermann Zeitz, violin.


City Directoy, Milwaukee, 1917

Daily Northwestern
,  Evanston, Illinois,  April 18, 1912

Fine Arts Journal, March 1903

Hubbard, William Harris; The Theodore Thomas Orchestra, Seventeenth Season, 1907-1908, Program Notes, The Orchestral Association, Chicago, 1908

New York Sun, January 25, 1934

New York Times, September 27, 1919

Schuh, Willi, ed.; Richard Strauss, Briefe an die Eltern 1882-1906  Zürich, 1954

Twelfth Census of the United States, Chicago, 1900

Twelfth Census of the United States, Milwaukee, 1900

Thirteenth Census of the United States, Chicago, 1910

Fourteenth Census of the United States, Chicago, 1920 

Fifteenth Census of the United States, Chicago, 1930

Ship Passenger Lists 1891, 1893, 1903, 1914

United States Department of Labor, Immigration and Naturalization Service Index

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