Charles Hambitzer

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Charles Hambitzer

Charles Hambitzer (1878 or 1881 – 1918) was an American composer, pianist and teacher. He is noted for having been a teacher of George Gershwin.


Hambitzer was born into a musical family in Beloit, Wisconsin. The year of his birth is variously given as either 1878 or 1881. His great-grandfather was a violinist in the Russian royal court and his father owned a music store in Milwaukee. He studied with Julius Albert Jahn and Hugo Kahn after which he played in the orchestra of the Arthur Friend Stock Company. He taught piano, violin, and cello at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. In 1908, he moved to New York City where he joined Joseph Knecht's orchestra at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, usually appearing as piano soloist. During that time he lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he wrote music and opened a music school. Among his most notable pupils was George Gershwin, who became one of America's leading composers. In 1914, Hambitzer's wife died of tuberculosis and four years later he died of the same disease.[1]


Hambitzer was noted for his prodigious musical talent and feverish compositional skill. He wrote many songs, and his work also included orchestral tone poems and incidental music for plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights.[1]


  1. ^ a b Fairtile, Linda B. (2002). "Charles Hambitzer Collection" (PDF). Library of Congress. Retrieved March 17, 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.