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Albert Stoessel

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Albert Stoessel


Albert Frederic Stoessel (11 October 1894, St. Louis, Mo. – 12 May 1943, New York, N.Y.) was an American composer, violinist and conductor.

Stoessel studied music at the Berlin Hochschule as a pupil of Emanuel Wirth and Willy Hess. At 19 he began his professional playing career with the Hess String Quartet, and toured as a violin soloist in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Germany. He returned to the United States in 1915 for a concert tour, appeared with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and lived in Boston until 1917 while pursuing his career as a violinist and composer.

Stoessel enlisted in the United States Army in 1917, becoming a lieutenant in the 301st Infantry American Expeditionary Forces and leader of the regimental band at Camp Devens. Stoessel went to France in 1918 with the 76th Division as bandmaster of the 301st. He became director of the AEF Bandmaster's School of Chaumont, France, organized by Walter Damrosch.

After his discharge in 1919, Stoessel performed as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and toured with Enrico Caruso's last tour. In 1921 he became the assistant conductor of the Oratorio Society of New York under Walter Damrosch. For seven years, beginning in 1923, he was the head of the New York University Music Department, from which he was awarded a master's degree in 1924. He left to become director of the departments of opera and orchestra at the Juilliard Graduate School of Music in 1931. He became conductor of the Worcester Festival of the Worcester (Massachusetts) County Musical Association in 1925, and conducted the Westchester Festival in White Plains, New York, from 1927 to 1933. Stoessel first began work with the Chautauqua Institution in 1921 as a conductor, and in 1929 he was appointed musical director.

Albert Stoessel composed the opera Garrick in 1936, wrote a treatise in 1919 entitled The Technique of the Baton, and composed a number of violin, piano, choral, and orchestra pieces.

It was while on stage conducting an orchestra for American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, that Stoessel died of a heart attack on May 12, 1943.

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