Ernest Richard Kroeger – Gaylord Music Library Special Collections

Oval portrait of Ernest R. KroegerContents

Biographical Sketch

Ernest Richard Kroeger was born in St. Louis on August 10th, 1862 and died on April 7th 1934. His early studies were carried out in his native city studying piano under his father, Egmont Froehlich, Waldemar Malmene, Charles Kunkel; harmony under W. Goldner and P.G. Anton; violin under Ernst Spiering; and instrumentation under Louis Mayer.

Kroeger was appointed “Master of Programs” on the Bureau of Music of the St. Louis World’s Fair (1904) giving him complete supervision of the musical programming at the fair. He organized brass bands and band contests which were the popular form of concerts. But he also invited the world’s greatest organists to give recitals, planned a series of great orchestral and choral concerts and arranged for competitions in all forms for musical composition. The music at the 1904 fair was considered by many to be one of the outstanding attractions of the event and for his work in that capacity Kroeger was elected an Officer of the French Academy. He was a member of the National Institute of Arts of Letters, and a Founder Member of the American Guild of Organists.

Kroger held organist positions at several St. Louis area churches including Grace Episcopal, Trinity Episcopal, Church of the Messiah (Unitarian), First Congregational, St. George’s Episcopal and Delmar Baptist.

Kroeger was Director of the Kroeger School of Music from December, 1904 until his death. His daughter, Louise Kroeger succeeded him at the Kroeger School teaching at the Musical Art Building located at Olive Street and Boyle Avenue until she retired at 84 in 1975. Ernest Kroeger was Director of the Department of Music Extension at Washington University from 1924-1930 and the Director of the Music Department at Forest Park College for many years as well.

Kroeger’s piano, organ and vocal compositions were published in the United States and Europe. His orchestral suite “Lalla Rookh” and symphonic poem “The Mississippi” were widely performed during the first decades of the 20th century.

Finding list of the Ernest Richard Kroeger Archive

(prepared 6/6/96)

Box 1 – Series I-IV
Box 2 – Series V-VIII

Series I: Sound Recordings

  1. Cassette tape of a conversation with Louise Kroeger at McAuley Hall 1-26-76
  2. Cassette tape of a conversation with Louise Kroeger 6-16-76

Series II: Photographs

  1. 11×17 poster entitled “E.R. Kroeger Concert Pianist” with photo
  2. Framed photo of Kroeger dated in pencil 1900 (currently hanging in the Librarian’s office)
  3. 6×4 lithograph block of Ernest Kroeger
  4. (Envelope) 3-3×5 photos of Kroeger, 1 dated March 13, 1889, 1 dated November 9, 1898
  5. (Envelope) 3 photos of Kroeger, and 1 photo of Kroeger with Thumber ?, PC Anton, Dralt, Pommer, and ?
  6. (Envelope) 11×7 photo of Kroeger seated at a piano in profile signed, “Yours very sincerely, Ernest R. Kroeger, Saint Louis, December, 1924.”
  7. (Envelope) 3.5×5.25 silver-print portrait postcard of Kroeger printed in Germany in the mid-1890s by Breitkopf & Haertel.

Series III: Writings and Lectures

  1. Bound book entitled “Brief Definitions In Harmony by E. R. Kroeger.” 47 pp., dated in pencil April 10, 1924
  2. Binder entitled “Notes and other material, used by Dr. Ernest R. Kroeger in giving lecture recitals during his career as pianist, organist, composer, lecturer, “First Public Recital-Piano-1876 (14 years old)” -typewritten notes of lectures, etc., by Dr. E.R. Kroeger, were copied from his original notes, and memoranda, by A.E. Kroeger, July 1934
  3. (Envelope) Article by Ernest Kroeger “American Music”
  4. (Envelope) Autobiography of Ernest Kroeger

Series IV: Scores and Works

  1. Zwolf Concert-Etuden fur Pianoforte von E. R. Kroeger Op 30 Heft I Nr 1-6 Heft II Nr 7-12 (c) 1894 by Brietkopf and Hartel
  2. (Envelope) Sonate fur Pianoforte (Des dur-Db Major-Re majeur) Op 40 (c) 1899 by Brietkopf and Hartel
  3. (Envelope) Egeria (piano piece) in braille
  4. (Envelope) Hand Expansions and Contractions: in the form of arpeggio and scales exercises in all the keys- for the piano Op 69 (c) MCMIX by Oliver Ditson Company
  5. (Envelope) Reverie for Violin and Piano Op 74 Dedicated to Mrs. Rose M. Day (c) MCMXII by Carl Fisher, N.Y.
  6. (Envelope) “The story of Ganem”, by Elizabeth K. Reynolds surnamed “Loves Slave” A libretto for a Romantic Opera in 5 Acts
  7. (Envelope) Lists of compositions
  8. (Envelope) Sketch book 11 x 15 cm.
  9. Pianoforte Concerto in E Flat

Series V: Programs and Notes (lecture topics given by Kroeger) Va: Notes from box dated June 6th, 1934

  1. (Envelope)
    • Programs of Organ Recital
    • University of Chicago-Degree, etc.
    • Harmony, Counterpoint, Acoustics, etc.
    • Music of the World’s Fair
    • Reminiscences of Kirkwood Seminary and Forest Park University 1887 1912
  2. (Envelope) Chopin- A Chopin Concert
  3. (Envelope)
    • Ernest R. Kroeger’s Most Popular Compositions for Piano, Voice, Violin
    • University of California Lecture Recitals
    • Concerts and recitals from the standpoint of performer and audience
    • Victor Ehling Address, A. I. Epstein Address
  4. (Envelope)
    • European Notes
    • Organ Music in Europe
  5. (Envelope)
    • Periodical clipping
    • The Etude-March 1924
    • Symposium of Greatest Compositions
  6. (Envelope)
    • Reference books in music
    • Strauss’ Salome
    • Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande
    • Schoenberg: Foremost of the Moderns
  7. (Envelope) Beethoven, Liszt, Bach, Brahms
  8. (Envelope) Bach, Weber, Schumann, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn

Vb: Notes from box

  1. (Envelope)
    • The Variation
    • The Orchestra
    • Great Composers of Orchestra Music
  2. (Envelope)
    • Folk Songs
    • The Elusiveness of Impressionism
    • Impressionistic Music Pieces
    • The Longing of Romanticism
    • Compositions of the Romantic School
    • Music of Different Nations
  3. (Envelope)
    • Program, Descriptive, Picturesque Music
    • French Composers
    • The Song
    • Great Composers of the Song
  4. (Envelope)
    • Expression in Music
    • Music and Life
    • Characteristics of Composers
    • Principles of Expression in Pianoforte
    • The Emotions in Music
    • The Philosophy of Music in the Musical Aesthetic Course
    • Washington University Aesthetic Course Examination
    • April 11th, 1932
    • Musical Appreciation
    • On the Cultivation of Musical Appreciation
  5. (Envelope)
    • Spirit of American Music
    • National Airs
    • Does the Average American Lack Artistic Feeling? If so, why?
    • The Influence of the German Upon American Musical Conditions
    • Special Wagner Opera
  6. (Envelope)
    • Two programs of piano recitals by Kroeger 1925 and 1928
    • What is Music?
    • Talk before the Missouri Chapter American Guild of Organists September 25, 1933
  7. (Envelope)
    • The Suite, The Overture, The Ballet
    • Les Preludes
    • Death and Transfiguration
    • The Symphony
    • The Opera
  8. (Envelope)
    • Greeks, Romans and their Music
    • Beginnings of American Music
    • Music of the 18th and 19th Centuries
    • The Organ
    • Chamber Music
    • Nationalism in Music
    • Harmony, Beginnings and Endings
    • Changes in Form, Dissonances
  9. (Envelope)
    • Fugue Subjects
    • Polyphonic Forms
    • Canons, Dance Forms
    • The Sonata
    • National Characteristics in Music
  10. (Envelope)
    • Composers of Different Nations
    • A Memorandum of Different Composers
    • Great Composers of Opera
    • Opera- Post Wager Operas
    • Opera Composers Since Wagner
    • List of Composers and their Opera Works
    • Clipping “More than 12,000 attend two nights of opera”
    • Binary Forms, Ternary Forms
    • Musical Theory
  11. (Envelope)
    • Combinations- German, French, Italian
    • Italian Music, Italian Composers
    • The Piano and it’s Music
    • Characteristics of Pianists
    • The Pianoforte
    • Pianoforte Players, Method, etc.
    • Great Composers of Pianoforte
    • Modern Pianists and Composers, Their Influence, Etudes, etc.
  12. (Envelope)
    • The Opera
    • Small Forms
    • The Modern Development of Form
    • Modern Small Forms- Instrumental
    • Higher Forms of Instrumental Music
    • The Lied or Song Form
  13. (Envelope)
    • The Symphonic Poem
    • The Tone Poem
    • Liszt – Les Preludes
    • Liszt – Die Ideale
    • Death and Transfiguration – Strauss
    • Sacred Music, Prayer in Music, Church Music
    • Great Composers of Sacred Music
    • The Spiritual Element in Music

Series VI: Programs and Brochures

  1. (Envelope) Programs and brochures about Kroeger

Series VII: Correspondence

  1. (Envelope) Correspondence to and from E. R. Kroeger
  2. (Envelope) Correspondence to and from Mrs. A. E. Kroeger

Series VIII: Research Notes and Articles about E. R. Kroeger

  1. (Notebook) “The Autobiography of Ernest Richard Kroeger Edited by Ernst C. Krohn.”
  2. (Envelope) Reviews and programs dated from November 10, 1878 – July 1881
  3. (Envelope) Obituaries (photocopies of the originals)
  4. (Folder) Research on E. R. Kroeger by Tom Pearce
  5. (Envelope) Research notes on E. Kroeger by Ruth Rogers Johnson (cousin of Kroeger) for articles entitled “Musical Product of Missouri” and “Ernest Richard Kroeger”
  6. (Folder) Finished articles by Ruth Rogers Johnson entitled “Musical Product of Missouri” and “Ernest Richard Kroeger” and correspondence concerning these articles

List of manuscripts

Note: Manuscript titles are transcribed from the items themselves and are not necessarily consistent throughout the list.

  • 10 Charakterstucke [piano]
  • 6 Lieder Ohne Worte (Songs Without Words — fur das Pianoforte) [piano]
  • Allegro Symphonique — pour l’orgue [organ]
  • American Character Sketches, No.6 [piano]
  • Another Lassie [voice and piano]
  • At Dusk — The Fox Woman’s Song [voice and piano]
  • Babe O-Mine [voice and piano]
  • Brief Definitions in Harmony leather bound typescript volume, 8 1/2″ X 11″, 51 pages.
  • By the Mountain Stream [piano]
  • Characteristic Dance, No.3 for Four Hands [piano 4 hands]
  • Colombine — Valse de Ballet [piano]
  • Dans les Bois (In the Forest) — Etude pour Piano [piano]
  • Dialogue pour Piano [piano]
  • Eight Pieces — for the Pianoforte [piano]
  • Endymion — Overture for Orchestra [orchestra, parts]
  • Esmeralda — Caprice en forme de variations pour Piano [piano]
  • Exaltation — for the piano [piano]
  • Fantasie — for the Flute and Pianoforte [flute and piano]
  • Fantasie Symphonique — a quatre mains [piano, four hands]
  • First Quartet in F major for String Instruments [string quartet, score]
  • Five Character Sketches for the Piano [piano]
  • Forest Murmers — for the pianoforte [piano]
  • Four Character Sketches, No.1 [piano]
  • Four Mazurkas — for the Piano [piano]
  • The Fox Woman’s Dance [voice and piano]
  • God Is Our Refuge and Strength [choir SATB and organ]
  • Hiawatha — Symphonic Overture [orchestra, parts]
  • Hiawatha — Symphonic Overture [orchestra, score]
  • I Saw Thee on thy Bridal Day [voice and piano]
  • In the Grotto — for the pianoforte [piano]
  • Intermezzo — for the pianoforte [piano]
  • Invocation — pour piano [piano]
  • Lalla Rookh (Suite) [band, full score]
  • Lalla Rookh — for Band [band, parts]
  • Lalla Rookh — Suite for Orchestra [orchestra, score]
  • March of the Indian Phantoms [orchestra, parts]
  • March of the Indian Phantoms, Op.80 [orchestra, score]
  • March of the Pioneers [orchestra, full score]
  • March of the Pioneers [orchestra, parts]
  • Marche Grotesque — pour le Piano [piano]
  • A Masque of Dead Florentines [chorus]
  • The Mississippi — Symphonic Poem for Orchestra [orchestra, score]
  • “The Mississippi” Symphonic Poem for Orchestra [orchestra, parts]
  • “Missouri” Festival Overture [orchestra, full score]
  • “Missouri” Festival Overture [orchestra, parts]
  • My Cardinal [voice and piano]
  • Novelette — for the Pianoforte [piano]
  • Overture “Endymion” [orchestra, score]
  • Overture “Sardanapalus” [orchestra, score]
  • Overture “Thanatopsis” [orchestra, score]
  • A Paean — Rhapsody-Ballad for the piano [piano]
  • Pastorale — for the piano [piano]
  • Pianoforte Concerto in E Flat [orchestra, score, parts]
  • Polonaise in A minor for Violin and Piano [violin and piano]
  • Quartet in F minor [string quartet]
  • Quartette in D minor [violin, viola, cello, piano]
  • A Quiet World [voice and piano]
  • Quintet for String Instruments [2 violins, 2 violas, 1 cello]
  • Quintet in F minor [piano, 2 violins, viola, cello]
  • Recollection — Impromptu [piano]
  • Reminiscence — for the Piano [piano]
  • Romance — for the piano [piano]
  • Romance Orientale — for the Pianoforte [piano]
  • Sardanapalus — Symphonic Overture [orchestra, parts]
  • Scherzo — for the Pianoforte [piano]
  • Second Sonata in D Major — for the Piano [piano]
  • Second String Quartet — in G minor [string quartet, score]
  • Second Trio for violin, cello and piano [violin, cello and piano]
  • The Singers [voice and piano]
  • Somewhere! [voice and piano]
  • Sonata in C minor for Violin and Pianoforte [violin and piano]
  • Sonata in F Major — pour le Violon and Pianoforte [violin and piano]
  • Sonata Pastorale for Viola and Pianoforte [viola and piano]
  • Sonate — pour Pianoforte Seul [piano]
  • Song of Triumph — for the pianoforte [piano]
  • Songs of the Fox Woman [voice and piano]
  • Spring Loveliness (4) [voice and piano]
  • The Storm King’s Choice [men’s chorus (and piano)]
  • The Stranger (3) [voice and piano]
  • String Quartet F Major [string quartet, parts]
  • String Quartet in D minor [string quartet]
  • String Quartet in G minor [string quartet, parts]
  • Suite “Lalla Rookh” [orchestra, parts]
  • Suite in C Major — for Orchestra [orchestra, score]
  • Symphony in B Flat [orchestra, parts]
  • Symphony in B Flat [orchestra, score]
  • Tarantelle — Pianoforte Duet for 4 hands [piano, 4 hands
  • Tarantelle Brillante — pour le piano [piano]
  • Thanatopsis — Overture for Orchestra [orchestra, parts]
  • Three Characteristic Dances [piano]
  • Three Characteristic Dances for the Piano, Book 2 [piano]
  • Tomorrow [voice and piano]
  • Trois Legendes [piano]
  • Twelve Album Leaves for the Piano [piano]
  • Two Nocturnes — for the Piano [piano]
  • Valse (based upon the whole tone scale) [piano]
  • Valse-Impromptu — pour piano [piano]
  • Waltzer — fur das Pianoforte [piano]
  • Zwolf Concert-Etuden — fur Pianoforte, Op.30 [piano]