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#594969 - 07/15/04 07:04 AM Descendants of Great Composers
emrys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/01
Posts: 60
Loc: Toronto
Are there any descendants, still alive and kicking, from some of the great composers such as Bach, Mozart, Saen-Sains, etc.?

I think it is SO sad that some of the other greats never had any children to pass on their genius to, if such a thing can be passed on.

It's fascinating that so many of the great musicians came from homes where music was a major focus and source of joy.
I strongly believe that prenatal influence had a lot to do with it besides just the genes.

What do you think?

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#594970 - 07/15/04 07:27 AM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
plays88skeys Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 3091
Loc: Richmond, VA
Well, Bedrich Smetana's great-nephew, a cellist, used to be on the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University's music school. I don't know if he's still alive, though.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. - Beverly Sills

#594971 - 07/15/04 08:21 AM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
Here's a googled link about famous family trees.


I had thought that Arthur Rubinstein was a direct descendent of Anton Rubinstein, but I guess I was wrong.

#594972 - 07/15/04 10:32 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3770
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Scriabin's niece passed away a few years ago. There are also many descendants of Bach,Mozart,and a few generations of the illegitimates of Johann Strauss Sr, still alive in Europe.
I met a Michaela Strauss.Great,great, something of Strauss Sr.
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
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#594973 - 07/15/04 10:35 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
Brendan Offline

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5548
Loc: McAllen, TX
A friend of mine at IU knows Rose Bellini, great-great-granddaughter of opera composer Vincenzo Bellini. He says that she is gorgeous.

Gorecki's son is (was?) also at IU.

#594974 - 07/15/04 11:40 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24791
Loc: Oakland
I've heard the Suk Trio a couple of times. The violinist, Josef Suk, was named for his grandfather, also Josef Suk, who married Dvorak's daughter. I've met Satu Jalas, whose grandfather was Sibelius. I got barked at by an upset Mercer Ellington once, not for anything that was my fault, but he's died since then.

Ralph Kirkpatrick interviewed some of Scarlatti's descendents for his book. I believe that there are still some of Liszt's and Wagner's descendents running around Bayreuth. Claus von Bülow was in the news a few years ago, and I think he's one.
Semipro Tech

#594975 - 08/11/04 06:59 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
JonasLePoer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 1
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Upon a visit to Debussy's birthplace (St. Germain, France in 2001) the curator told me that Debussy has one living descendant in that region. She is a great-niece and she lives in Paris.

#594976 - 08/11/04 07:14 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: TX
Another thing that's fun is tracing back teachers to people like Liszt and Clementi who had a great number of students.

#594977 - 08/13/04 08:22 AM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
Botticelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/04
Posts: 47
Simon Rattle's son goes to Oberlin, not that that is really as exciting as Debussy's relatives (or relative) living in Paris.

#594978 - 08/14/04 04:39 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
There is a resource website somewhere that tracks the descendants of all the major composers and I believe whoever stated that descendants of Mozart exist is wrong. No descendants exist of Mozart, Haydn or Bach or any of the major composers except for Beethoven. Beethoven's nephew Karl who attempted to commit suicide in the famous story joined the army after Beethoven's death, he then married and had kids in the 1830's. One of the kids moved to America and I believed worked for a steel company in Detroit. Other great great grandsons and whatnot are apparently still alive spread throughout the U.S. and you can even view pictures of them a few of them go by the last name of Von Hoven from what I could see. This isn't a direct lineage from Beethoven himself but rather from his very close brother Carl, the one who was also somewhat of a composer and some of whose compositions were even mistaken to be by Beethoven himself (a testament to his skill) by musicologists for many years. Beethoven's other brother was far less close to him and tried to use Beethoven's name for his own advancement and he doesn't have any descendants.

As far as the Bach family goes, the last of that famous line was Johann Sebastian's grandson who died in the 1840's and was seen and described by Robert Schumann at a Bach memorial unveiling in Leipzig possibly for Bach's centennial death anniversary in 1850, I forget. This description can be obtained on the internet.
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

#594979 - 08/14/04 07:34 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
ballad3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 93
Loc: mississauga.ON
did anyone ever wonder how and why most of the famous composers don't have a direct lineage, and some none at all?
~it is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.

#594980 - 08/14/04 09:50 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24791
Loc: Oakland
I really doubt that the last of the Bach family was a single grandson. WFE Bach may have been the last of the composers, though.

Schumann's nine children did not survive. I think only one barely survived Clara. Schumann's syphillis may have been a contributing cause. That affected a number of composers.

Many of the composers were homosexuals. Many did not live well enough to support a wife, let alone children.

The great musical families of today are the Marsalis family, the Brubeck family, and the Escovedo family, in my opinion.
Semipro Tech

#594981 - 08/14/04 10:04 PM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
BDB, did you MEAN to leave out the Jacksons? \:D

Why don't we get Dame jodi, our newly crowned GoogleQueen, to go hunt down that website that Requiem mentioned?

#594982 - 08/15/04 08:29 AM Re: Descendants of Great Composers
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
No, I'm pretty sure the ENTIRE Bach family is wiped out as the family tree I viewed traced descendants of J.S. Bach's grandparents that were his distant cousins and not even known to him as far as I know and have no affiliation with music. And like I said even the non-musical ordinary Bach folk have long been wiped out. Mozart's two children Karl Thomas and Franz Xavier (?) both lived to around the 1840's leading ordinary lives and died with no children.
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."


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