Penn Library Department of Special Collections

William Penn

Keffer Collection of Sheet Music,
ca. 1790-1895

Content and design by John Bewley

Collection History
Guide Statistics
Focus on Philadelphia
Composers Publishers Lithographers Imagesand Music
List of Topics
Related Resources

Philadelphia Composers: Charles Zeuner (1795-1857)

Charles Zeuner, composer, organist, pianist, compiler, and teacher, was born in Eisleben, Germany on September 20, 1795. His musical studies in Germany included work with Hummel in Weimar and with Michael Gottard Fischer in Erfurt. He served as a court musician and a musician in the military. In 1822 he published a set of variations and four polonaises for the piano.

Zeuner emigrated to the United States and settled in Boston where he made his first public performance on February 13, 1830 playing the organ and singing his own works. He was named organist of the Handel and Haydn Society in September 1830 and served as organist at three Boston churches. Zeuner was elected president of the Handel and Haydn Society in 1838 but resigned on February 7, 1839 due to continual absences. He then moved to Philadelphia where he became organist at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and at the Arch Street Presbyterian Church.

Compositions by Zeuner include songs, piano works, instrumental music, and sacred works, including the oratorio, The Feast of Tabernacles, possibly the first such work composed in the United States. It was performed eight times at the Boston Academy of Music in 1837. Zeuner also compiled three collections of church music and a music manual for Sunday schools.

Compositions and Arrangements by Charles Zeuner in the Collection

Item No.TitleImprintPlate No.Illustration
Box 13
no. 10
Bunker Hill Quick Step / by J. Friedheim, conductor of the New-England Band ; arranged for the piano forte by Ch. Zeuner Boston : H. Prentiss, 1836 None Bunker Hill Monument / Pendleton's Lithography
Box 41
no. 6
Captain Wintrop's Grand March : as played by the Boston Band at the Cadets' Ball given at the Federal St. Theatre on the evening of the 22d. Feb. 1831 / composed by J. H. Walch ; arranged for the piano forte by Ch. Zeuner Boston : Chas. Bradlee, 1831 None None
Ms. Coll. 126
no. 11
The Feast of the Tabernacles : an oratorio in two parts Morning & Evening sacrifice / the words by Revd. Henry Ware of Cambridge ; the music by Chs. Zeuner, Boston 1832 None None
Box 41
no. 25
Grand Centennial March : as performed by the Boston Bands / composed by Ch. Zeuner Baltimore : Geo. Willig Junr., 1830 None State House from the Mall, Boston / Gimber, del. ; lith. by Pendleton


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