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The estate of Joachim Raff (1822-1882) - Raffiana

The estate of Joachim (1822-1882) and Helene Raff (1865-1942) bears the signature "Raffiana". It consists of 13 large boxes and two compilations and includes letters by and to Joachim and Helene Raff, family papers and music manuscripts by Joachim Raff.

Joachim Raff was born in 1822 in Lachen on the upper end of Lake Zurich. As the son of a teacher, he received a good education and was taught the violin, piano and organ at an early age. Since the family's means were not sufficient to finance his studies, Joachim Raff took up a teaching position in Rapperswil in 1840. He must have already felt a great musical inclination at this time, which is handed down to us today through his first attempts at composition. In order to follow his passion for music, he gave up teaching after just four years and tried to establish himself as a composer. At this time he was already in contact with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, on whose recommendation the music publisher Breitkopf & Härtel published a number of Raff's piano pieces, and he met Franz Liszt, whose secretary and musical assistant he was to become from 1850. Joachim Raff worked hard on his breakthrough for many years but without any notable success. During this time he frequently changed his place of residence and made a living as a music teacher. The "An das Vaterland" (To the Fatherland) symphony, with which he won the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde ( Society of Friends of Music) competition in Vienna in 1863, finally brought him his great breakthrough and instantly made him one of the most frequently played symphonic composers of his time. In 1877 he became the director of the newly founded Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium (Dr. Hoch's Conservatory) in Frankfurt am Main. J. Raff died at the age of 61 as a result of a heart attack in his Frankfurt apartment.

The estate of Joachim Raff and that of his daughter Helene were transferred to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek's holdings. After the death of her father, Helene Raff had moved to the then art metropolis of Munich. She worked successfully there as a writer and painter and quickly established contacts with the bourgeois women's movement in Bavaria, which she was also actively involved in. Some of her texts were set to music by Joachim Raff. Her biography about her father published in 1925 – "Joachim Raff. Ein Lebensbild" (Joachim Raff. A Biography) – is an important document for music history today.

The collection is roughly sorted.

>> This estate belongs to the collection of estates from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).