Leopold Damrosch was a German American orchestral conductor and composer. Damrosch began his musical education at the age of nine, learning the violin against the wishes of his parents, who wanted him to become a doctor. Capitulating to the wishes of his parents he entered the University of Berlin and completed his PhD in medicine but during his spare time he studied violin under Ries, and thorough bass with Dehn and Bohmer. After he completed his degree Damrosch decided to dedicate his life and energy to music. He gained fame as a violinist and began to play to large audiences in many major German cities including Berlin and Hamburg. He went to Weimar, and was received by Franz Liszt, who appointed him solo-violinist in the Ducal orchestra.