Arthur Nikisch was a Hungarian conductor who performed internationally, holding posts in Boston, Leipzig and—most importantly—Berlin. He was considered an outstanding interpreter of the music of Bruckner, Tchaikovsky and Liszt. Johannes Brahms praised Nikisch's performance of his Fourth Symphony as "quite exemplary, it's impossible to hear it any better." Arthur Augustinus Adalbertus Nikisch was born in Mosonszentmiklós, Hungary to a Hungarian father, a mother from Moravia. Nikisch began his studies at the Vienna Conservatory in 1866. There he studied under the composer Felix Otto Dessoff, the conductor Johann von Herbeck, the violinist Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr. and won prizes for composition and performance on violin and piano. He was engaged as a violinist in the Vienna Philharmonic, played in the Bayreuth Festival orchestra in its inaugural season of 1876, he was to achieve most of his fame as a conductor. In 1878 he became second conductor of the Leipzig Opera, he gave the premiere of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1884.
On 1 July 1885 Nikisch married Amelie Heussner, a singer and actress, engaged the preceding years at the Kassel court theatre with Gustav Mahler. Their son Mitja would become a noted pianist in his own right. Nikisch became conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, from 1893 to 1895 director of the Royal Opera in Budapest. In 1895 he succeeded Carl Reinecke as director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. In the same year he became principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, held both positions until his death, his successor at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra was first violinist Albert Heinig. Nikisch was a popular guest conductor with the Vienna Philharmonic and Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, conducted the Ring Cycle of Richard Wagner at Covent Garden in London. Nikisch served as director of the Leipzig Conservatory from 1902 and there taught a class in conducting, he was a pioneer in several ways. In April 1912 he took the London Symphony Orchestra to the United States, a first for a European orchestra.
On 10 November 1913, Nikisch made one of the earliest recordings of a complete symphony, Beethoven's 5th, with the Berlin Philharmonic, a performance reissued on LP and CD by DGG and other modern labels. He made a series of early recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra, some of which display the portamento characteristic of early-20th century playing. Nikisch died in Leipzig in 1922, was buried there. After his death, the square where he had lived was renamed Nikischplatz, in 1971 the city created the Arthur Nikisch Prize for young conductors, his legacy is as one of the founders of modern conducting, with deep analysis of the score, a simple beat, a charisma that let him bring out the full sonority of the orchestra and plumb the depths of the music. Nikisch's conducting style was admired by Leopold Stokowski, Arturo Toscanini, Sir Adrian Boult, Fritz Reiner, Ervin Nyiregyházi, many others, including George Szell, who called Nikisch "an orchestral wizard." Reiner said, "It was who told me that I should never wave my arms in conducting, that I should use my eyes to give cues."Henry Wood wrote, "I remember... his marvellous way of listening so intently to every phrase he directed....
When rehearsing a melody, he invariably sang it to the orchestra with great emotional feeling – and would say:'Now play it as you feel it.' No conductor that I have heard has surpassed his emotional feeling and dramatic intensity."Arthur Nikisch had a huge impact on Wilhelm Furtwängler. The latter always considered Nikisch as his single model. Nikisch supported Furtwängler at the beginning of his career and predicted that he would be his successor. A film survives of Nikisch conducting. Kalisch, Alfred. “Arthur Nikisch.” Musical Times 63, no. 649, 172-74 Hart, Philip. Fritz Reiner: A Biography. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. P. 16. ISBN 0-8101-1125-X. Ferdinand Pfohl: Arthur Nikisch als Mensch und Künstler, Hermann Seemann Nachfolger, Ferdinand Pfohl: Arthur Nikisch: Sein Leben, seine Kunst, sein Wirken. Alster, Hamburg 1925 Arthur Nikisch at AllMusic Newspaper clippings about Arthur Nikisch in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics Photos
Hans-Werner Janssen was an American conductor of classical music, composer of classical music and film scores. He was the first New York born conductor to lead the New York Philharmonic. Janssen was born in New York City on 1 June 1899, his father was founder of the Janssen Hof Brau Haus on Broadway. The family lived in Great Neck on King's Point Road next door to musician George M. Cohan, it was Cohan who encouraged young Werner to continue to play piano and explore his passion for music. Cohan describes the interplay of families as he states, "I'll hold to my dying day that Werner became a musician because his dad made him practice the piano all day to keep me awake, just to get with me for playing all night and keeping him awake." Werner recounts that his first two music students were the daughters of George M. Cohan, whom he taught in their home; as a teenager Werner remembers hearing the first renditions of "Over there" from across the fence between the houses. Cohan reflects on those days writing to Werner's father, "those were golden days when you were singing songs and I was trying to write them down next door—they were in fact the happiest of all any days as I look back on them now."August strongly encouraged Werner to enter the family business, opposing the son's desire for a musical career.
Therefore, after Werner completed secondary school he had to support his own musical education at Dartmouth College. He did this by being a waiter, performing in cabarets and theaters, selling his own popular compositions. At the New England Conservatory of Music he studied with the composers George Chadwick and Frederick Converse, he studied piano with Arthur Friedheim, a pupil of Franz Liszt. Janssen entered the US military in World War I. After the war he returned to his studies and earned a bachelor's degree in music at Dartmouth College in 1921, he began to compose jazz songs for Tin Pan Alley. He made recordings as a pianist of two of his popular songs in 1920, he composed for the Ziegfeld Follies of 1925 and 1926 and wrote several songs which became national hits. This helped finance his conducting studies with Felix Weingartner in Basel and with Hermann Scherchen in Strasbourg, France, he received a Juilliard Fellowship and the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome for his tone poem for large orchestra in a jazz idiom New Year's Eve in New York.
That composition received its premiere from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Howard Hanson on May 8, 1929. In 1930, it was performed by the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Nikolai Sokoloff, was recorded in 1929 by the Victor Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nathaniel Shilkret. Shilkret and Janssen were to exchange roles, with Janssen and his Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles conducting the Genesis Suite, conceived and coauthored by Shilkret. In 1927, he was dismissed early on, he was engaged in 1929 by Samuel Roxy Rothapfel to conduct at his Roxy Theater but was soon fired from that position as well. Three years of studying in Rome at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with mentor Ottorino Respighi resulted in several new compositions including the Louisiana Suite and the string quartet American Kaleidoscope performed by the Quartetto di Roma, his work with that group led to an engagement to conduct the Royal Orchestra of Rome. He took conducting engagements throughout Europe.
He conducted an entire concert of the works of Jean Sibelius in Helsinki in February 1934. Sibelius said of this concert: "You may say that tonight Finland has for the first time discovered my music; this achievement of Janssen's is the deed of a hero". After a second concert, he received the Order of the White Rose on 8 March 1936 from the government of Finland for his contribution to Finnish music, he was appointed associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic for the 1934–35 season, on 8 November 1934 became the first American-born conductor to lead the orchestra. He was conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 1937 through 1939. While Janssen filled roles as guest conductor, he was contracted to write film music, his first credited film score was for The General Died at Dawn, nominated for an Academy Award, the first of six Janssen scored films to be nominated. In 1939, he resigned his position with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to work with film producer Walter Wanger, he composed several other film scores including Blockade, Winter Carnival, Eternally Yours, Slightly Honorable, The House Across the Bay, Guest in the House, The Southerner, Captain Kidd, A Night in Casablanca and Uncle Vanya, starring and co-directed by Franchot Tone.
He was responsible for the score for the 1966 German television production Robin Hood, der edle Ritter. He continued to write non-film compositions too, including the String Quartet No. 2, the Octet for Five, the Quintet for 10 Instruments. In 1940, he formed the Janssen Symphony in Los Angeles, which became a rival organization to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a forum for contemporary music until 1952. Compositions for this were commissioned from American composers; this group performed and recorded film music, musical theater works, contemporary musical scores. Numerous recordings were made by this orchestra for Capitol Records. Janssen formed a partnership with producer David L. Loew to produce the Musicolor series of classic
Massimo Filippo Antongiulio Maria Freccia was an Italian American conductor. He had an international reputation but never held a post as music director of a major orchestra or opera house. Unusually for an Italian, he built his career around symphonic music rather than opera. For several years he was an assistant to Arturo Toscanini, whom he venerated, he was invited by Toscanini to conduct the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Massimo Freccia came from a wealthy background and counted royalty and aristocrats among his friends, he was born on 19 September 1906 in the Tuscan village of Valdibure, near Pistoia, not far from Florence. His father was his mother from an aristocratic Pistoian family, she was a good amateur pianist, encouraged Massimo's growing interest in music, engaging a violin teacher for him when he was six. He had no formal school education; when World War I broke out, his Russian great-aunt came to live with them. Brought up by his mother on Vivaldi and Corelli, he was introduced to Tchaikovsky and Wagner which his great-aunt played for hours on the piano.
She recounted tales of her youth in Saint Petersburg when she met Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1923, when he was 17, Freccia went to the Florence Conservatory of Music, where he became friends with the composer Luigi Dallapiccola, who introduced him to the music of the contemporary school of Italian non-operatic composers such as Gian Francesco Malipiero, Giorgio Federico Ghedini, Goffredo Petrassi and Alfredo Casella. Freccia began to conduct in a garage adjoining the family's villa in Florence, which he converted into a studio where he and his fellow-students played through works for small orchestra, he was self-taught as a conductor, learning by watching others. He obtained a job as apprentice at the opera in Florence, playing the celesta in the pit and rushing backstage to play the harmonium so that the prima donna could stay on pitch. From Florence he went to Vienna, where he heard Richard Strauss conduct his operas, Mozart masses in the churches, Bruckner and Mahler symphonies in the concert-halls.
At an Italian Embassy party he met Franz Schalk music director of the State Opera. When Freccia expressed his admiration for the young Wilhelm Furtwängler's concerts, Schalk turned frosty and described Furtwängler as a "talented amateur", but he gave Freccia a pass to attend rehearsals at the Opera, where he heard singers such as Elisabeth Schumann, Lotte Lehmann, Leo Slezak and Alfred Piccaver. He heard Schalk conduct the Vienna premiere of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex. Freccia moved for two years to Paris, where he met Jean Cocteau and Picasso, he met the pianist Arthur Rubinstein and the composer Maurice Ravel, to whom he showed a tone-poem which he had composed in Vienna. Ravel played some of it, studied the score, complimented Freccia on his technique and orchestration and ended by saying: "But my dear young man, all, good, but it's all Ravel!" His friendship with the composer Joaquín Nin led to his first engagement in 1929. When a ballet company was formed in Paris around the dancer Antonia Mercé y Luque, Freccia was appointed assistant conductor.
This led to a post as conductor of a group specialising in contemporary Italian music. After a spell with them, he returned to Vienna to conduct the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, where he was noticed by a Hungarian who had just founded the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. Freccia met Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók, he conducted the first performance of the orchestral version of the latter's Transylvanian Dances. In 1934 Freccia took the orchestra on an Italian tour. Benito Mussolini attended the concert, in Rome, summoned Freccia to meet him next day in the Palazzo Venezia to discuss his views on the string section. While on a visit to New York in 1937, Freccia was invited - on Toscanini's recommendation - to return the following year to conduct the New York Philharmonic in a series of summer concerts at the Lewissohn Stadium. Sensing that war in Europe was inevitable, he sought a residence visa for the United States. Through Arthur Judson, the NYPO manager, he accepted an engagement with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra, thereby being able to return from Cuba on a permanent Italian visa.
He found the orchestra a poor ensemble, but trained it skillfully and was appointed its music director 1939-43. Soloists of the quality of Arthur Rubinstein and Jascha Heifetz played with it, it was in Cuba that he forged a friendship with George Gershwin and met his future wife Maria Luisa Azpiazu. After four years Freccia returned to New York on a special visa, he was rejected for the U. S. Army, in 1944 became conductor of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for eight years, he returned to Cuba in 1945 to marry Nena. In 1952 he left New Orleans for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Freccia made his London debut in October 1954 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall, conducting the British premiere of Samuel Barber's oratorio Prayers of Kierkegaard; this had not been a success at its American premiere, but Freccia had liked it and persuaded Barber to revise and cut it. The composer told him: "It's your work." Freccia returned to London for several years as guest conductor of the LPO, the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
In 1959 Freccia returned to Italy for six years as conductor of the RAI Orchestra. During that time he twice conducted concerts for Pope John XXIII. Freccia made some international tours, conducting in Japan in 1967 and in Australia. In years he conducted in Monte Carlo. For four years he conducted concerts wit
Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II known as Johann Strauss Jr. the Younger, the Son, Johann Baptist Strauss, son of Johann Strauss I, was an Austrian composer of light music dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet. In his lifetime, he was known as "The Waltz King", was responsible for the popularity of the waltz in Vienna during the 19th century. Strauss had two younger brothers and Eduard Strauss, who became composers of light music as well, although they were never as well known as their elder brother; some of Johann Strauss's most famous works include "The Blue Danube", "Kaiser-Walzer", "Tales from the Vienna Woods", the "Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka". Among his operettas, Die Fledermaus and Der Zigeunerbaron are the best known. Although the name Strauss can be found in reference books with "ß", Strauss himself wrote his name with a long "s" and a round "s", a replacement form for the Fraktur-ß used in antique manuscripts.
His family called him "Schani", derived from the Italian "Gianni", a diminutive of "Giovanni", the Italian equivalent of "Johann". Strauss was born into a Catholic family in St Ulrich near Vienna, Austria, on 25 October 1825, to the composer Johann Strauss I, his paternal great-grandfather was a Hungarian Jew – a fact which the Nazis, who lionised Strauss's music as "so German" tried to conceal. His father did not want him to become a musician but rather a banker. Strauss Junior studied the violin secretly as a child with the first violinist of his father's orchestra, Franz Amon; when his father discovered his son secretly practising on a violin one day, he gave him a severe whipping, saying that he was going to beat the music out of the boy. It seems that rather than trying to avoid a Strauss rivalry, the elder Strauss only wanted his son to escape the rigours of a musician's life, it was only when the father abandoned his family for a mistress, Emilie Trampusch, that the son was able to concentrate on a career as a composer with the support of his mother.
Strauss studied counterpoint and harmony with theorist Professor Joachim Hoffmann, who owned a private music school. His talents were recognized by composer Joseph Drechsler, who taught him exercises in harmony, it was during that time that he composed his only sacred work, the graduale Tu qui regis totum orbem. His other violin teacher, Anton Kollmann, the ballet répétiteur of the Vienna Court Opera wrote excellent testimonials for him. Armed with these, he approached the Viennese authorities to apply for a license to perform, he formed his small orchestra where he recruited his members at the Zur Stadt Belgrad tavern, where musicians seeking work could be hired easily. Johann Strauss I's influence over the local entertainment establishments meant that many of them were wary of offering the younger Strauss a contract for fear of angering the father. Strauss Jr. was able to persuade Dommayer's Casino in Hietzing, a suburb of Vienna, to allow him to perform. The elder Strauss, in anger at his son's disobedience, at that of the proprietor, refused to play again at Dommayer's Casino, the site of many of his earlier triumphs.
Strauss made his debut at Dommayer's in October 1844, where he performed some of his first works, such as the waltzes "Sinngedichte", Op. 1 and "Gunstwerber", Op. 4 and the polka "Herzenslust", Op. 3. Critics and the press were unanimous in their praise for Strauss's music. A critic for Der Wanderer commented. Despite the initial fanfare, Strauss found his early years as a composer difficult, but he soon won over audiences after accepting commissions to perform away from home; the first major appointment for the young composer was his award of the honorary position of "Kapellmeister of the 2nd Vienna Citizen's Regiment", left vacant following Joseph Lanner's death two years before. Vienna was wracked by the revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire and the intense rivalry between father and son became much more apparent. Johann Jr. decided to side with the revolutionaries. It was a decision, professionally disadvantageous, as the Austrian royalty twice denied him the much coveted'KK Hofballmusikdirektor' position, first designated for Johann I in recognition of his musical contributions.
Further, the younger Strauss was arrested by the Viennese authorities for publicly playing "La Marseillaise", but was acquitted. The elder Strauss remained loyal to the monarchy, composed his "Radetzky March", Op. 228, which would become one of his best-known compositions. When the elder Strauss died from scarlet fever in Vienna in 1849, the younger Strauss merged both their orchestras and engaged in further tours, he composed a number of patriotic marches dedicated to the Habsburg Emperor Franz Josef I, such as the "Kaiser Franz-Josef Marsch" Op. 67 and the "Kaiser Franz Josef Rettungs Jubel-Marsch" Op. 126 to ingratiate himself in the eyes of the new monarch, who ascended to the Austrian throne after the 1848 revolution. Strauss Jr. attained greater fame than his father and became one of the most popular waltz composers of the era, extensively touring Austria and Germany with his orchestra. He applied for the KK Hofballmusikdirektor position, which he attained in 1863, aft
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
H. L. Mencken
Henry Louis Mencken was an American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English. He commented on the social scene, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements, his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial" gained him attention. As a scholar, Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States; as an admirer of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, he was an outspoken opponent of religion and representative democracy, the latter of which he viewed as systems in which inferior men dominated their superiors. Mencken was a supporter of scientific progress, was critical of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine, he was an ardent critic of economics. Mencken opposed both American entry into World War I and World War II, his diary indicates that he was a racist and antisemite, who used coarse language and slurs to describe various ethnic and racial groups.
Mencken at times seemed to show a genuine enthusiasm for militarism, though never in its American form. "War is a good thing," he once wrote, "because it is honest, it admits the central fact of human nature... A nation too long at peace becomes a sort of gigantic old maid."His longtime home in the Union Square neighborhood of West Baltimore was turned into a city museum, the H. L. Mencken House, his papers were distributed among various city and university libraries, with the largest collection held in the Mencken Room at the central branch of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library. Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880, he was August Mencken, Sr. a cigar factory owner. He spoke German in his childhood; when Henry was three, his family moved into a new home at 1524 Hollins Street facing Union Square park in the Union Square neighborhood of old West Baltimore. Apart from five years of married life, Mencken was to live in that house for the rest of his life. In his best-selling memoir Happy Days, he described his childhood in Baltimore as "placid, secure and happy."When he was nine years old, he read Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, which he described as "the most stupendous event in my life".
He became determined to read voraciously. In one winter while in high school he read Thackeray and "proceeded backward to Addison, Pope, Swift and the other magnificos of the Eighteenth century", he became an ardent fan of Kipling and Thomas Huxley. As a boy, Mencken had practical interests and chemistry in particular, had a home chemistry laboratory in which he performed experiments of his own devising, some of them inadvertently dangerous, he began his primary education in the mid-1880s at Professor Knapp's School on the east side of Holliday Street between East Lexington and Fayette Streets, next to the Holliday Street Theatre and across from the newly constructed Baltimore City Hall. The site today is the War Memorial and City Hall Plaza laid out in 1926 in memory of World War I dead. At fifteen, in June 1896, he graduated as valedictorian from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, at the time a males-only mathematics and science-oriented public high school, he worked for three years in his father's cigar factory.
He disliked the work the sales aspect of it, resolved to leave, with or without his father's blessing. In early 1898 he took a writing class at the Cosmopolitan University; this was to be the entirety of Mencken's formal education in any other subject. Upon his father's death a few days after Christmas in the same year, the business reverted to his uncle, Mencken was free to pursue his career in journalism, he applied in February 1899 to the Morning Herald newspaper and was hired part-time, but still kept his position at the factory for a few months. In June he was hired as a full-time reporter. Mencken served as a reporter at the Herald for six years. Less than two and a half years after the Great Baltimore Fire, the paper was purchased in June 1906 by Charles H. Grasty, the owner and editor of The News since 1892, competing owner and publisher Gen. Felix Agnus, of the town's oldest and largest daily, The Baltimore American, they proceeded to divide the staff and resources of The Herald between them.
Mencken moved to The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for Charles H. Grasty, he continued to contribute to The Sun, The Evening Sun and The Sunday Sun full-time until 1948, when he stopped writing after suffering a stroke. Mencken began writing the editorials and opinion pieces. On the side, he wrote short stories, a novel, poetry, which he revealed. In 1908, he became a literary critic for The Smart Set magazine, in 1924 he and George Jean Nathan founded and edited The American Mercury, published by Alfred A. Knopf, it soon developed a national circulation and became influential on college campuses across America. In 1933, Mencken resigned as editor. In 1930, Mencken married Sara Haardt, a German American professor of English at Goucher College in Baltimore and an author eighteen years his junior. Haardt had led efforts in Alabama to ratify the 19th Amendment; the two met in 1923. The marriage made national headlines, many were surprised that Mencken, who once called marriage "the end of hope" and, well known for mocking relatio