Francis Hueffer

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Francis Hueffer (born Franz Hüffer; 22 May 1845[1] – 19 January 1889) was a German-English writer on music, music critic, and librettist.


Hueffer was born in Münster, Germany, on 22 May 1845. He studied modern philology and music in London, Paris, Berlin, and Leipzig, and earned a Ph.D. in 1869 from the University of Göttingen for a critical edition of the works of Guillem de Cabestant, a 12th-century troubadour.

Following his studies, he moved to London in 1869 as a writer on music, and from 1878 worked as music critic for The Times, succeeding James William Davison. He wrote a number of books on music, especially on music history and biography; edited the Great Musicians series for Novello & Co; and translated the correspondence of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt to English. He also wrote the libretti for several English operas: Alexander Mackenzie's Colomba and The Troubadour, and Frederic Hymen Cowen's Sleeping Beauty. Also succeeding Davison, he became editor of the Musical World in 1886 and actuated a more musically progressive attitude.[2] He fell ill in the summer of 1888 and died of cancer on 19 January 1889.

Hueffer's wife, Catherine Madox Brown, was an artist and model associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. Their sons, Ford Madox Hueffer (better known as Ford Madox Ford) and Oliver Madox Hueffer, were writers.

Selected writings[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Baker's gives a date of birth of 23 May 1843
  2. ^ Hughes, Meirion (2002). The English Musical Renaissance and the Press 1850–1914: Watchmen of Music. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp. 27–28. 


External links[edit]