Carl Friedrich Zelter

1758 (Berlin) – 1832 (Berlin)

Goethe became a lifelong friend after Zelter, rather nervously, wrote to him; they met only 14 times, but in 30 years exchanged over 900 letters. Hegel was an old Berlin friend. The bristly and conservative Zelter taught both Mendelssohns, influentially: he introduced the 12-year-old Felix to Goethe, who was enchanted by his playing. Meyerbeer was another of his students; Zelter introduced him to the then-unfashionable music of J. S. Bach. The exceptionally well-travelled Neukomm visited him in Berlin, on the way back from Russia to France, and was glad to find their friendship still alive.