Eugen Jochum - Central Website (Revised)

A Short Biography of Eugen Jochum

Eugen Jochum around 1930

Life Data:

Born November 1, 1902, Babenhausen
Died March 26, 1987, München

Life Stations:

Some Notes on the Life Stations of Eugen Jochum

Overseeing this long musical career, it appears that Eugen Jochum conducted wherever there was to serious music to be conducted. It seems that he did not really planned his career. He is everywhere to be found where people ask for him, but he does not seem to intrude into strange surroundings.

To all accounts, it was a kind and joyfull man who stood at the Pult, ready to conduct all serious music he liked. Always cheerful, but also totally dedicated to the music. His intention was to make music and call up emotion, and not to let music just sound in a nice concert hall.

Maybe the key to his personality is, that he was especially dedicated to the human aspects of music and the power of emotion music wields in the heart of the listeners.

From the end of the Telefunken period up to all but the last years, Jochum recorded for DG. He made exceptions for Philips in the 1960-s and EMI in the 1970-s. It was not until the end, that he finally switched to Eurodisc, his last commercial recording being "Eine kleine Nachtmusik". The Beethoven Bruckner - giant ended his musical life in calmness.

After 1964 Eugen Jochum was guest conductor all over the world. His international career brought him to Amsterdam, Bamberg, Bayreuth, Berlin, Bonn, Boston, Dresden, Gent, Hamburg, Hannover, Linz, Leuven, London, Munich, New York, Osaka, Paris, Rome, Salzburg, Tokyo, Vienna.

After the death of Karl Böhm, Eugen Jochum conducts the memorial concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic. The performance of Brahms 2 on that occasion is one of the best I know. The intensity strikes the unaware listener. Also, Eugen Jochum completed the recording of Beethoven's piano concertos with Maurizio Pollini.
Maestro Jochum conducted the 1st and 2nd concerto, which stand out in this cycle because of their much more spirited approach than Böhm was able to administer shortly before his death. The cooperation of Eugen Jochum and Maurizio Pollini seems to have been succesfull, at least when listening to the recorded result.
The performances are really very good with the Wiener playing very responsive. One wonders why Eugen Jochum did not make much more records with the Wiener Philharmoniker.
The recordings are still available on DG. Below is a photograph made during the recording sessions.

Shortly after these recordings, Maestro Jochum alters markably and looks suddenly like a much older man. It is in these years (1984) that his beloved wife Maria Jochum-Montz passed away.

Eugen Jochum in Vienna, 1983

At the end of his life, Eugen Jochum again is to be found in Hamburg. The level of the orchestra seemingly has sunken when compared to the pre - war and wartime level, when Jochum was also active in Hamburg and the orchestra was allowed to participate in many recordings. But an old love never dies, especially not if this love is an orchestra....
The photograph below was taken during a rehearsal in Hamburg. Regretfully, no recordings were released of modern concert series given in Hamburg, only some rehearsal fragments on video remain.

Eugen Jochum in Hamburg, 1986

Back to Eugen Jochum - Central Website - Introduction