Rudolf Dittrich

Born: 25th April 1861

Died: 16th January 1919

Birthplace: Biala, Galicia (modern Bielsko-Biała, Poland)

Rudolf Dittrich was an Austrian musician. He is noted for his role in bringing western music to Japan during the late 19th century. Sometime in 1891 or 1892, Dittrich formed a relationship with a Japanese shamisen performer and instructor, Mori Kiku, with whom he had a son out of wedlock named Otto Mori. Mori Kiku also assisted Dittrich in translating the lyrics and transposing the music for the Japanese songs which appeared in his 1894 and 1895 publications. Dittrich left Japan one month before the expiration of his contract in August 1894, abandoning his common-law family, but leaving provisions to provide financial support for his son, who later became a professional violinist. His grandson was the movie actor Jun Negami. After returning to Vienna in 1894, Dittrich had to struggle to find a position. In the first years after his return he performed as a chamber musicviolinist and violist. In 1901, he was appointed as one of three organist to the Habsburg court organists, succeeding his mentor Anton Bruckner. In 1906 Dittrich became a professor at the Vienna Conservatory, and designed for the organ in the Musikverein auditorium, where the Vienna Philharmonic plays its New Year's concerts.

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