Alfred Dörffel

Born: 1821

Died: 1905

Birthplace: Germany

Dörffel, Alfred was a pianist and music publisher in Leipzig. It seems that it was through the music of Gluck that Berlioz and Dörffel became acquainted with each other. Dörffel prepared for the publisher Heinze in Leipzig an edition of Gluck’s Orphée which Berlioz had declined to do himself. The edition appeared in May 1866 and a copy was sent by the publisher to Berlioz for comment; in his reply Berlioz commended the work of Dörffel for its painstaking accuracy. Dörffel was in St Petersburg in October 1867 and in contact with the Grand-Duchess at the time when Berlioz was planning his forthcoming trip, and Berlioz wrote to him in connection with the preparations for his concerts. Dörffel accompanied Berlioz on the train journey from Berlin to St Petersburg, and played Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto at Berlioz’s 5th concert in St Petersburg. He presumably stayed on for a while in St Petersburg, where Berlioz wrote to him after his return to Paris. The last letter mentions a project for an edition of Gluck in which Dörffel and the Grand-Duchess were in some way involved; the project was only undertaken by others after Berlioz’s death.

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