Once the leading city in the German musical world, Hamburg continues to hold a front place to-day. Its musical history is of interest in that it was the scene of the first regular German opera (1678-1738), the roots of which lay perhaps in its age - long churchmusic traditions. Hamburg with its many fine churches of cathedral dimensions had long been famous for its organ music when Scheidemann, a pupil of Sweelinck, came to the St. Katharinen Kirche in 1625. He was succeeded there by Reincken, the founder of the Hamburg opera, in 1678. Jakob Thiele was teaching in Hamburg from 1 646-1724. Mattheson, a t one time the friend and benefactor of Handel, was director of church music from 1715-28, and died as Domcanonicus in 1764. Vincent Liibeck was organist a t the St. Nicholaikirche from 1702-40, the friend of Bach and Buxtehude. Handel, who came to Hamburg as violinist and cembalist, in 1703 wrote music for the Hamburg organists. Bach visited Reincken in 1702 ; he had previously been tried for the post of organist in the St. Jakobikirche, but had not been successful. Telemann was director of church music and chief Kapellmeister in 1757, and he was succeeded by Philipp Emmanual Bach in 1788. Schroter (or Schroder as it is sometimes spelt) was in Hamburg from 1771-80. The Hamburg German opera was established in 1678 j Reincken in a theatre (no longer existing) in the Gansemarkt. Reincken opened with Jakob Theile's opera 4 Adam und Eva.* Cousser came from Brunswick to assist him in 1674 and remained till 1678. The opera was a t the summit of its vitality in tho era of R. Keiser, who directed it from 1695-1706. During this period he wrote 116 (some historians say 126) operas for it. The German opera of Hamburg lasted till 1738. The Italian opera was introduced in 1740. The present municipal Hamburger Stadttheater was rebuilt in 1874 and completely remodelled in 1926. I t has room for about 1750 spectators. Among its general music directors have been Gustav Mahler (1891-97) and Komgold (1919). The present Generalmusikdirektor is Egon Pollack. The Hamburg opera, which is subsidised by the Free City, maintains a very high standard in its productions. Lortzing's ' Un d in e ' (1845) and Korngold's ' Die Tote Stadt ' (1920) were first produced by the Hamburg opera. There is a Volksoper, under the direction of C. Richter, an Operettenhaus, and a t Altona a Stadttheater (produces opera occasionally) run by a limited company on a co-operative basis. The orchestra of the Hamburger Stadttheater gives during the winter season regular symphony concerts and ' opera evenings.' The concert life of Hamburg, however, is mainly centred upon the Verein Hamburger Musikfreunde (Hamburg Association of the Friends of Music) founded in 1896, afterwards renamed the Hamburg Philharmonic Society. Under this society the Philharmonic concerts (Karl Muck) often in co-operation with the Singakademie, the Symphony Concerts (Eugen Papst) and the choir concerts (A. Sittard) are held in regular series throughout the winter. Orchestral concerts in Hamburg have a long history dating back to Keiser, who gave his first series of winter concerts in 1708, and even beyond, since there is mention of a ' Ratsmusikdirektor * (Director of Music to the Council) in the early 17th century. The Hamburger Orchesterverein (Emil Leichsenring) also gives regular symphony concerts and at the Hamburg Wednesday concerts some enterprise is shown in the presentation of new works. The Altona Orchestra (Woyrsch) gives occasional symphony concerts, and others are from time to time organised by tho Richard Wagner Verein of Hamburg. Chamber concerts are a regular feature of Hamburg's musical life. The principal concert halls are the Musikhalle (presented to the city by H. Laeisz and completed in 1908) with a large hall and a smaller hall for chamber concerts, the Convent Garten (two halls) and the Curiohaus. With its long tradition of church music, Hamburg has also several fine secular choirs among its 82 societies (29 mixed, 47 male voice, 6 women's), chief among them being the Singakademie (E. Papst) and tho Cacilienverein (J. Spengel). Six at least of Hamburg's great churches, with their grand organs, are centres of choral singing. That with the longest consecutive history is the St. Katharinen Kirche. Its organ, originally built in 1543, is used in conjunction with the free recitals given by the United Hamburg church choirs under the direction of the organist, W. Bohmer. The organ of St. Michael Kirche (built by Walcker of Ludwigsburg), of which A. Sittard (conductor of the Hamburg Verein's choral concerts) is organist, is said to be one of the largest church organs in the world. It has five manuals and pedal organ, and the pipes number 12,173, with 207 stops. Others of importance are the St. Nicolai Kirche (A. Kleinpaul), the Jacobikirche (K. Mohrkcns), the organ of which, originally constructed in the early 17th century, was completely rebuilt in 1895, and the St. Petrikirche (G. Knack) second only to the St. Michael's organ in size and its superior in sweetness of tone. The St. Georgskirche choir (Karl Paulke) gives concerts in the church on a more ambitious scale, generally with the assistance of well-known singers. The principal establishments for musical education in Hamburg are the Hamburger Musikakademie und Musikwissenschaftliches Institut (Karl Rienecke) and the Kriiss-Farber Konservatorium, founded 1908 (Albert Mayer- Reinach and Friedrich Farber) with operatic, instrumental and composition schools. There are some half a dozen other private music schools. The library of music in the Hamburg city library, with its many rare MSS., is one of the richest in Germany. h . g . d .