1873 – 1950
Who was Karl Straube?
Montgomery Rufus Karl/Carl Siegfried Straube was a German church musician, organist, and choral conductor, famous above all for championing the abundant organ music of Max Reger. He studied organ under Heinrich Reimann in Berlin from 1894 to 1897 and became a widely respected concert organist. In 1897 he was appointed organist at Willibrode Dom in Wesel, but left in 1902 to take up the position of organist at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. He gave up his career as a performer relatively early in order to pursue teaching and publishing, particularly the music of Reger, though he still kept his position at the Thomaskirche. He was also appointed to the organ faculty of the Leipzig Conservatorium in 1907, receiving the title of "Royal Professor" in 1908. This most honorary title, which is seemingly astounding for a professor of only one year, reflects more on Straube's cleverness than his merit. Since he was offered a job in Berlin, he wrote a letter of requests to his superior. These subtle "demands" were cleverly wrought. He, among other things, requested a raise from ℳ 1,000 to ℳ 5,000 and also requested that the Wilhelm Sauer organ of 1888 at the Thomaskirche be enlarged.
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