August Jaeger

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Jaeger in his later years

August Johannes Jaeger (1860 – 1909) was an Anglo-German music publisher, who developed a close friendship with the English composer Edward Elgar.

Biography[edit]

Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, Jaeger met Elgar through his employment at the London music publisher Novello. His advice and friendship became invaluable to Elgar, causing the composer to rework many famous musical passages, including the finale to his Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma Variations) and the climax of The Dream of Gerontius. Jaeger has been immortalized in the famous ninth variation "Nimrod" from the first above-mentioned work, recalling a conversation on the slow movements of Beethoven (Nimrod was a Biblical hunter, a pun on the German word for hunter, Jäger).

Jaeger championed the work of the young black composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; to Elgar he claimed that Coleridge-Taylor was "a genius".

Jaeger married Isabella Donkersley of Magdale, Honley near Holmfirth in Yorkshire, an accomplished violinist and pupil of Henry Holmes in the Royal College of Music. He died of tuberculosis in 1909. The family changed their name to "Hunter" after World War I.

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