Max Trapp

Hermann Emil Alfred Max Trapp (November 1, 1887 May 31, 1971) was a German composer and teacher. A prestigious figure in the Berlin cultural scene during the 1930s,[1] Trapp, amongst others in the Nazi influenced scene, was regularly invited to contribute to concert programs and competitions.[2]

Trapp was born in Berlin and attended the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (now the Berlin University of the Arts) where he studied under Paul Juon and Ernő Dohnányi. After the completion of his studies, he did not have regular employment and worked as an itinerant pianist. In 1920, however, he obtained a post as lecturer at the Berlin conservatoire, becoming a professor there in 1926. His best-known pupils include Josef Tal, Saburō Moroi and Günter Raphael.

Between 1926 and 1930, Trapp offered a master class in composition at the music conservatoire in Dortmund. In 1932 he joined the NSDAP.[3] In June 1933, Trapp joined the National Socialist movement through an "Appeal to the Creative" (Appell an die Schaffenden). In 1934, he stepped down from the Berlin conservatoire and became the director of a masterclass in composition at the Berlin Academy of Arts (since merged with the University of the Arts). Here from 1936-9 he taught Sophie Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté.[4] In 1940, Trapp received the national composition prize.[5] From 1950 to 1953, he was a teacher at Berlin's Städtischen Konservatorium.[6]

He died at the age of 83 in Berlin.


Heavily influenced by Richard Strauss and Max Reger, Trapp composed orchestral, chamber and piano works, including seven symphonies,[7] as well as choral and theatre music. While his music was fairly widely performed through the 1940s, it has rarely been performed since.

Concerto for Pianoforte in D Major, Op. 26 (1931)


  1. Steinweis, Alan E. (1996) [1993]. Art, Ideology, and Economics in Nazi Germany: The Reich Chambers of Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts. UNC Press. p. 25. ISBN 0-8078-4607-4.
  2. Kater, Michael H. (1999) [1997]. The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-19-513242-4.
  3. Ernst Klee: Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 617.
  4. Watson, Lorne; Kallmann, Helmut; Winters, Kenneth (2007). "S. C. Eckhardt-Gramatté". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  5. Kater, Michael H. (1999) [1997]. The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 27–29. ISBN 0-19-513242-4.
  6. "Mitgliederdatenbank der Akademie der Künste"
  7. Grove 6 article by William D. Gudger. Symphonies in D, opus 8, unpublished; B minor, opus 15; opus 20, unpublished, ca. 1925; B minor, opus 24, 1928; no. 5 in F, op. 33 of 1937; no. 6 in B op. 45; and no. 7 in A major, op. 55 (though unpublished). Also among his other works there are several concertos - violin (Op.21 in A minor), cello (Op.34), piano and 3 for orchestra without soloist - and a fair amount of chamber music including an early piano quintet (opus 3, published by Steingräber-Verlag of Leipzig in 1912, see OCLC 875303073), string quartet (opus 22, published 1935- see HMB), and at least three piano quartets (the third, Op.31 also published 1935 - see OCLC 165409990 & HMB. ) Some further information on his orchestral music can be found here.
  8. Woolf, Jonathan (March 2003). "Review of Mengelberg Disc". MusicWeb International. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
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