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Anton Schindler

Anton Schindler

Anton Schindler (1795-1864) was a violinist who became part of Beethoven’s inner circle around 1822.  By this time, the maestro was completely deaf.

Assisting Beethoven with administrative matters, Schindler was helpful but the maestro was sometimes annoyed with him.  He dismissed Schindler, after the premiere of the Ninth Symphony (in May of 1824), because he believed his assistant had withheld some of the concert’s profits. 

Two years later, however, Schindler was back in Beethoven’s good graces.  He remained with the maestro until the end of Beethoven’s life.

Beethoven scholars are both grateful to (and angry with) Schindler.  It is believed that he changed Beethoven’s Conversation Books and destroyed many of them. 

Schindler wrote a biography about Beethoven, but its inconsistencies caused Alexander Wheelock Thayer (in the 1850s) to begin researching his own major work on the composer’s life. 

In 1991, the Beethoven Compendium opined that Schindler's "propensity for inaccuracy and fabrication was so great that virtually nothing he has recorded can be relied on unless it is supported by other evidence..." (Beethoven Compendium, p. 52).


Media Credits

Image of Anton Schindler, online courtesy Mad About Beethoven.

 

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