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Wermann, Oskar

Oskar Wermann (1840 -1906) was born in Neichen near Trebsen (Saxony) and at the age of six played the organ for church services there. He graduated from the teacher’s college in Grimma and later went on to Dresden to make music his full-time occupation. There he became a pupil of Gustav Merkel. He continued his studies at the Leipzig Conservatoire, later working as a conductor in Switzerland. In 1875 he became the successor of Julius Otto as choir master of the Holy Cross College and of the three main Protestant churches in Dresden, the Kreuzkirche, the Frauenkirche and the Sophienkirche. During his time in office the size of the audience at the Saturday night music in the Kreuzkirche rose from 30 to 50 on average to 3000 or 4000. In 1879, he started a Bach revival in Dresden with the first performance of the St. John Passion. In addition. under his direction the Kreuzkirche choir sang works by Schütz, Händel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schubert and Bruckner. His own output comprises numerous works for choir and for organ. Werman dedicated his op. 93 - from which the Christmas Pastoral music is taken - to Liszts pupil, A. W. Gottschalg.

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