Michael Raucheisen

9.02.1889 - 27.05.1984
Voice/Instrument: Pianoforte


Michael Raucheisen (b. Rain am Lech, 9 February 1889; d. Beatenberg, 27 May 1984) was a German pianist and song accompanist.

Music was inherited, for the young Michael. His father, by vocation a master-glazier, was organist, church choir leader and musical pedagogue. The musical development of his only son was so important to the family that they left the small town in which they lived.

From 1902 Raucheisen lived in Munich, and from 1920 until the end of his pianistic activity in 1958, in Berlin. He studied at the Munich High School for Music. Around 1906 he played first violin at the Prinzregententheater and was organist in St. Michael. In 1912 he founded the musical Matinees which have become famous.

From the beginning of the 1920s until the end of the Second World War he was song accompanist for many singers, including Frida Leider, Erna Berger, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Karl Schmitt-Walter, Karl Erb and Helge Rosvaenge, to mention only a few of many. As an innovation he played his accompaniments with the piano lid open, in order to obtain a better tonal balance between the voice and the instrument. In 1933, following her divorce from Karl Erb, he married the soprano Maria Ivogün. From 1933 he strove to create a complete catalogue of German language songs on gramophone recordings, for which, from 1940, he became head of the departmentment of Song and Chamber-music at the Berlin Rundfunk, for the organization of the studios there. After the War he was banned from his work for some years on account of his possible collaboration with the Nazi regime, and afterwards he appeared only occasionally in public. In 1958 after a very successful tour with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, he returned to private life and migrated with his wife Ivogün to Switzerland. On the occasion of his 95th birthday he was, on 10 January 1984, granted the Free Citizenship of the town of Rain. Michael Raucheisen and his wife (who died in 1987) are buried in the municipal cemetery of Rain.

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