5th September 1815
26th August 1873
Karl Wilhelm, also Carl Wilhelm was a German choral director. He is best known as the composer of the song “Die Wacht am Rhein.” Wilhelm was born in Schmalkalden. He studied at Cassel under Louis Spohr, and then in Frankfurt am Main with Aloys Schmitt and A. André. From 1841 to 1864 he was the director of the Krefeld Liedertafel for which he composed numerous male choruses. In Krefeld in 1854 he set to words “Die Wacht am Rhein,” the poem Max Schneckenburger wrote in 1840. In recognition of the success and the national importance of this song, he received the title of “Royal Prussian Musical Director” in 1860, and four years later received a gold medal from Queen (later Empress) Augusta.