Alfred Rosé

Alfred (Eduard Emmerich) Rosé, conductor, composer, pianist, music therapist (born 11 December 1902 in Vienna, naturalized Canadian 1955; died 7 May 1975 in London, Ont). His mother was Gustav Mahler's sister.

Alfred Rosé

Alfred (Eduard Emmerich) Rosé, conductor, composer, pianist, music therapist (born 11 December 1902 in Vienna, naturalized Canadian 1955; died 7 May 1975 in London, Ont). His mother was Gustav Mahler's sister.

He studied piano principally with Richard Robert and theory with Franz Schmidt, Arnold Schoenberg, and Karl Weigl. He became an assistant conductor and coach 1922-7 of the Vienna State Opera. At this time he toured Europe as a pianist with the Rosé String Quartet, founded by his father, the violinist Arnold Rosé. He was music director of the Calderon Festivals of the Vienna Burgtheater 1923-4 and of the Max Reinhardt Theatre in Vienna. After three years in Berlin he returned to Vienna where he conducted the Volksoper and taught 1932-8 at the Volkskonservatorium. Moving to Cincinnati in 1938, he taught piano and theory, coached, and lectured there until 1948.

In 1946 Rosé directed a summer workshop in opera at the Western Conservatory of Music, London, Ont, and in 1948 he moved to that city to teach at the University of Western Ontario. In 1973 he retired with the rank of professor emeritus. In 1950 he became organist-choirmaster at St Martin's Church. He was a pioneer in music therapy and set up programs at Westminster Hospital in 1952 and the London (Ont) Psychiatric Hospital in 1956.

As a composer Rosé's most productive years were the 1920s and 1930s. Of his many songs 10 were published (1927-8, Doblinger, Krämer) in Austria. His Adagio for cello and orchestra (1941) was premiered in 1974 in London, Ont. Other works in larger forms are Sonata in A (1936) for piano and Tryptichon (1937) for large orchestra.

Rosé's connection with Mahler and his extensive collection of scores and letters (the latter now at the University of Western Ontario) made him a valued source of information for researchers.


Further Reading

  • Alfred Rosé, 'From Gustav Mahler's storm and stress period,' CMJ, vol 1, Winter 1957

    - et al. 'Music therapy at Westminster Hospital,' Mental Hygiene, vol 43, Jan 1959