Definition of kapellmeister in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈpɛlˌmʌɪstə/


1(In German-speaking countries) the leader or conductor of an orchestra or choir.
Example sentences
  • His initial Bach recordings with his Pforzheim musicians emerged in the late 1950s and, like his fellow German kapellmeisters, set no agenda but he set out a very definite stall.
  • But it was slow going up until the 20th century. The Dutch didn't pioneer opera like the Italians did, and it was German kapellmeisters who set up the paths music would eventually follow.
  • He was second Kapellmeister at the Tivoli Theatre in Bremen in 1914 before being drafted for military service in 1915.
1.1 historical A leader of a chamber ensemble or orchestra attached to a German court.
Example sentences
  • A descendant, Miklos Jozsef Esterhazy, became captain of the Empress Maria Theresa's bodyguard, although he is now best remembered for employing Joseph Haydn as kapellmeister and court composer for some thirty years.
  • We do not know who wrote this new sacred verse, though quite possibly they were the kapellmeisters (maestri di cappella) themselves or other musicians fluent in Latin.
  • He held the prestigious position of kapellmeister to the emperors Maximilian II and Rudolf II in Vienna and Prague from 1568 until his death.


Mid 19th century: German, from Kapelle 'court orchestra' (from medieval Latin capella 'chapel') + Meister 'master'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ka¦pell|mei¦ster

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