Raimund von Zur Muhlen (1854-1931).
- Profession: Tenor.
- Relation to Mahler: Worked with Gustav Mahler.
- Correspondence with Mahler:
- Born: 10-11-1854 Uusna Manor, Neu-Tennasilm, Estonia.
- Died: 11-12-1931 Wiston, England.
- Buried: Unknown.
Baron Raimund von zur-Mühlen (sometimes “Raymond”, “Raimund von Zur Mühlen”) was a celebrated tenor Lieder singer who also became a famous teacher of singing, instructing many famous artists. His Lieder-interpretations are legendary.
He was a student of Auguste Hohenschildt, Felix Schmidt, Adolf Schulze, Julius Stockhausen and Clara Schumann. He made his debut in 1878, together with Hans Schmidt, in Riga. After this he continued working on his capabilities as a singer, above all with Manuel Garcia, Beniamino Carelli and Pauline Viardot.
He is recognised as a founder of the Lieder-abend or evening recital of the German concert Lieder as a distinct performance entity. His interpretation of Lieder and his specialist study of Lieder interpretation were of the utmost importance in the evolution of the Lieder genre itself. He gave Schumann Lieder-recitals with Clara Schumann. She set him on the path to London, where he gave his first concert in 1883. At one of his concerts, Johannes Brahms shouted out, ‘Endlich, endlich habe ich meinen Sänger gefunden!’ (At last, at last, I have found my singer).
Thereafter he spent much time in London. In 1907 he emigrated to England, with homes in London and Steyning. His last stay in Germany must have been in 1913-1914 in Berlin, where he gave a course of Masterclasses. Thereafter he lived in England for the remainder of his life. Here he met for the last time Monika Hunnius, author and singing-teacher, who had regularly studied with him in 1904-1911 at the Schloss Fellin at Neuhäuser, and developed a deep friendship with him.
In his younger days he usually appeared with his habitual accompanist and kindred spirit Hans Schmidt. Among his later accompanists were Victor Biegel and Coenraad V. Bos. Bos mentions him in his book: the singer gave his young accompanist no encouragement, but criticized him severely. After their fifth concert together he was told ‘You must have played well today, for I did not notice you. He was the teacher of Lula Mysz-Gmeiner (who taught Elisabeth Schwarzkopf), of Mark Raphael, Hans Lissman, Eva Jekelius-Lissman, Rose Walter, Eide Norena, Martha Lipton, Georg A. Walter, Fanny Opfer, Naima Wifstrand, and Hermann Weissenborn, among many others.
He was considered an ideal Lieder singer. He is also described as an eccentric. He was born of an aristocratic family. His valuable collection of documents, musical and artistic papers were destroyed in 1930 in a great fire at his house near Steyning.
Raimund’s debut recital took place in 1878, he gave his first London recital in 1883, but deliberately ended his concert career soon after the death of his mother in 1904. In 1907 he emigrated to England and began a busy and much appreciated career there as a teacher, which ended only with his own death in 1931. In 1904 and then again in 1905, however, he had returned to the family estate in Estonia to run summer courses.