Meaning of kapellmeister in English:


Pronunciation /kəˈpɛlˌmʌɪstə/


  • 1(in German-speaking countries) the leader or conductor of an orchestra or choir.

    ‘His initial Bach recordings with his Pforzheim musicians emerged in the late 1950s and, like his fellow German kapellmeisters, set no agenda but he set out a very definite stall.’
    • ‘But it was slow going up until the 20th century. The Dutch didn't pioneer opera like the Italians did, and it was German kapellmeisters who set up the paths music would eventually follow.’
    • ‘He was second Kapellmeister at the Tivoli Theatre in Bremen in 1914 before being drafted for military service in 1915.’
    • ‘Marked Allegro non troppo, the Concert Overture (for which Raff made a piano, 4 hands arrangement) lasts about 10 minutes and is a very superior and craftsmanlike piece of work - hardly typical of the run of the mill celebratory pieces churned out by dozens of kapellmeisters at the time.’
    • ‘‘All of the sacred works of the foreign kapellmeisters,’ wrote the Archpriest Dmitry Razumovsky, ‘were acknowledged in their time and even now are recognized as truly artistic and classical in a musical sense.’’
    • ‘In 1768 Bach succeeded Georg Philipp Telemann (his godfather) as Kapellmeister at Hamburg, and in consequence of his new office began to turn his attention more towards church music.’
    1. 1.1 historical A leader of a chamber ensemble or orchestra attached to a German court.
      ‘A descendant, Miklos Jozsef Esterhazy, became captain of the Empress Maria Theresa's bodyguard, although he is now best remembered for employing Joseph Haydn as kapellmeister and court composer for some thirty years.’
      • ‘We do not know who wrote this new sacred verse, though quite possibly they were the kapellmeisters (maestri di cappella) themselves or other musicians fluent in Latin.’
      • ‘He held the prestigious position of kapellmeister to the emperors Maximilian II and Rudolf II in Vienna and Prague from 1568 until his death.’
      • ‘Who was the court kapellmeister in 1787 when Mozart was court composer?’


Mid 19th century German, from Kapelle ‘court orchestra’ (from medieval Latin capella ‘chapel’) + Meister ‘master’.