Hermann Schroeder (26 March 1904 – 7 October 1984) was a German composer and a Catholic church musician. He was born in Bernkastel and spent the greatest part of his life’s work in the Rheinland. His mother's family had common ancestry with Beethoven. He studied from 1926 to 1930 at the Hochschule für Musik Köln, where his most important teachers were Heinrich Lemacher and Walter Braunfels (composition), Hermann Abendroth (conducting), and Hans Bachem (organ) (Lück and Levi 2001).
His main sphere of activity as composer, conductor and organist were supplemental to his work as a professor of choral conducting, counterpoint, and composition. Upon graduation from the conservatory, he obtained a post teaching music theory at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne. Eight years later he became organist at the cathedral in Trier. He remained in this post until the end of the war, adding the position of director of the Trier School of Music in 1940. After the war, taught music theory at the Cologne Musikhochschule beginning in 1946, becoming a professor there in 1948 and deputy director in 1958. He was also a reader at Bonn University from 1946 until 1973, and a lecturer at the University of Cologne from 1956 until 1961 (Lück and Levi 2001).
In 1952 he was awarded the Robert Schumann Prize of the city of Düsseldorf, in 1955 the first prize in the organ competition at Haarlem/the Netherlands, in 1956 he received the Arts Prize from the state of Rheinland-Pfalz (1956) and in 1974 he was appointed honorary doctor by the University of Bonn.
Schroeder is one of the most important German composers of the 20th century for organ. His music combines elements of the Middle Ages (fauxbourdon, ostinato technique, Gregorian modes), 20th-century polyphony and the linear, atonal writing of Hindemith.
Schroeder died on 7 October 1984 in Bad Orb.
A photo of Hermann Schroeder is attached below.
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