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Raff, Joachim, 1822-1882



  • Existence: May 27, 1822 - June 25, 1882


In 1844, at the age of 22, Raff decided to give up his job as a school teacher to begin a career in music. Even though he had a late start, it took him only three years to make a name for himself as both and organist and a pianist. He studied composition with Mendelssohn until Mendelssohn’s death in 1847, when he proceeded to study composition with Liszt. Compositionally, Raff struggled through most of the 1850’s, until finally achieving popular success with the Cavatina for violin from Six morceaux op.85 in 1859. In 1878 Raff became director of the new Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, for which he was able to recruit the baritone Julius Stockhausen as well as Clara Schumann to the faculty. He continued to be met with mixed opinion and criticism of his music until the time of his death in 1882.