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Maine History Online
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The Kotzschmar Memorial Organ

1899 Concert Program, Portland

1899 Concert Program, Portland

Item 6817 info
Portland Public Library

Johann Carl Hermann Kotzschmar, the man for whom the organ was named was born on July 4, 1829, in Finsterwalde, Germany, to a family with a long musical tradition.

As the eldest and obviously talented son, Hermann was expected to follow his father as stadtmusicker (city musician) in Finsterwalde, but instead he left home at 14 to go to Dresden and study music in depth.

Five years later, he joined a group of friends to make a band, and they went to seek their fortunes in America. After a short time the band separated, and Kotzschmar went to Boston, where he played piano in taverns to earn a meager living.