Emil Bohnke

Emil Bohnke ( born October 11, 1888 in Zdunska Wola near Lodz, Poland, † May 11, 1928 in a car accident in Pasewalk ) was a German violist, composer and conductor in Berlin.


Emil Bohnke, son of a textile manufacturer Ferdinand Bohnke married, 1919, the violinist Lilli Mendelssohn. One of the children from this marriage was the later pianist Robert Alexander Bohnke ( 1927-2004 ).

As a violist he played among others in the quartet of Adolf Busch. Compositionally and personally he was close to the circle of Heinz Tiessen, which included the pianist and composer Eduard Erdmann. In his role as a performer (1926, he became director of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra ) Bohnke sat often for works of this colleagues.

Bohnke came together with his wife in a car accident in Pasewalk killed when they were just looking for a rental for their children.

Soon after his death became the composer into oblivion, which was mainly blame the Nazi leaders: Since Bohnkes wife Lili was of Jewish origin, he also had close contacts with politically unpopular ( as was his friend Tiessen avowed socialist ), his works have been after 1933 prohibited. Despite some attempts to revive the music Bohnkes, an undoubtedly interesting document of music from the 1920s, never quite returned to the concert halls.


Since Bohnke died at the age of 39, his work is not very extensive. The composer himself was an excellent chamber musician, his work also focused primarily on this area. Besides there are some piano pieces, orchestral works and songs from Bohnkes spring.

Bohnke began as a late romantic composer embossed, as the successor of Max Reger, referred later, however, more and more expressionistic elements in his works with a. However, a clear break in his work is not to notice. The compositions Bohnkes characterized by dense thematic work and bold harmony, which is very often the (still existing ) framework of tonality beyond. The most important work of the composer is considered the first performed shortly after his death Symphony op 16


  • Emil Bohnke rests in a grave of honor in the State of Berlin with his wife. The couple had come together killed in a traffic accident in 1928.

List of Works

  • String Quartet in C minor op 1
  • Symphonic Overture, Op 2
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op 3
  • Piano Pieces op 4
  • Piano Trio in B flat minor, Op 5
  • Piano Pieces, Op 6
  • Sonata for Cello and Piano in F minor, Op 7
  • Piano Pieces, Op 8
  • Theme and Variations for Large Orchestra, Op 9
  • Piano Sonata op 10
  • Violin Concerto, Op 11
  • 6 Sketches for Piano, Op 12
  • Sonata for solo violin, Op 13 No 1
  • Sonata for viola solo, Op 13 No 2
  • Sonata for Solo Cello, Op 13 No 3
  • Piano Concerto, Op 14
  • Ciacona for solo violin, Op 15 No 2
  • Symphony op 16