Mainzer, Joseph


b Trèves (Trier), France 1801, d Salford, Gtr Manchester (Lancs) 1851. He attended the Maîtrise (choir school) of Trier Cathedral, but went on to study mining engineering, including work in the Saarbrücken mines. Sensing a call to ministry, however, he was ordained in 1826, becoming an abbé a few years later. But in 1833 he left Germany for political reasons, having campaigned for better working conditions for the mineworkers whose misery he had experienced. He also resigned from his church’s ministry, living first in Brussels, where he composed operas, then in Paris. He lived there by teaching and music journalism and in 1835 began to offer free sight-singing classes for adult pupils unable to afford the usual fees. When in 1839 this activity was banned, he moved to London and established similar work there in 1841. Being invited to Scotland by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh and some 100 other civic leaders, he made that city the centre of this teaching from 1842 to 1847. Also by invitation, he launched similar groups in Manchester in 1847; meanwhile his textbook Singing for the Million was published in 1842, and that year saw the founding of Mainzer’s Musical Times and Singing Circular, which in 1844 was taken over by Novello’s and became simply the Musical Times. Mainzer’s death at the age of just 50 was hastened by exhaustion from overwork. No.872.

Tunes and arrangements by Mainzer, Joseph

Tune Name