Herbert Collum

Herbert Collum (18 July 1914 − 29 April 1982) was a German organist, harpsichordist, composer and conductor.

Tomb of Herbert Collum, organist in Dresden. Reinhardtsgrimma cemetery.


Born in Leipzig, between 1921 and 1929 Collum attended a primary school in Leipzig. Afterwards he studied the organ from 1930 to 1934 with Karl Straube and Günther Ramin, the piano with Carl Adolf Martienssen, with Choir conducting with Kurt Thomas and musical composition with Johann Nepomuk David at the Kirchenmusikalisches Institut (Leipzig). Fritz Reuter was also one of his teachers there.[1] Already from 1927 he was deputy organist at the St. Matthäikirche Leipzig. From 1932 to 1935 he worked as assistant to Professor Günther Ramin at the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig. His main creative phase was the period as Dresden organist, which began with his appointment in 1935 and ended with his death in April 1982 at the age of 67. Michael-Christfried Winkler was elected as his successor.[2]

In 1946 he founded the Collum Choir and the Collum Concerts. On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, a total of 24 Collum concerts took place between September 1949 and August 1950. Soloists, the Collum Choir and members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle performed under Collum's direction. Performance venues were the Dresdner Martin Luther Church in the Neustadt and the Reformed Church, because the Kreuzkirche, which burned down in 1945, could not yet be used again.

During his time as a cross organist Collum also took on various teaching assignments. From 1942 to 1945 and again between 1954 and 1956, he was a teacher at the Heinrich-Schütz-Konservatorium Dresden [de] and subsequently, until 1958, he was a lecturer for organ at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden. From 1949 to 1961, Collum also taught organ at the Spandauer Kirchenmusikschule. In 1960 he was appointed professor. From 1964 he was a lecturer for harpsichord at the Dresden Musikhochschule. In the same year he was appointed to the jury of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition.

In 1942 he married the singer and teacher Herta Maria Böhme-Collum. Only one year later, Christian Collum [de] emerged from the union of the two church musicians.

Collum was buried according to his last wish in Reinhardtsgrimma. He frequently gave concerts on the Silbermann organ of the church there and also made a recording in the series "Bach's Organ Works on Silbermann Organs". The concert tradition founded by him is successfully continued under the direction of the present cross organist Holger Gehring. That is why this organ is one of the most famous organs in Saxony.


In 1973 Collum received the Art Prize of the German Democratic Republic. In Dresden, the Herbert-Collum-Straße was later named after him.[3]


The estate of Herbert Collum is kept in the Saxon State and University Library Dresden.[4]


Orchestral musicEdit

  • Symphony No. 1 (c), 1939
  • Symphony No. 2 (a), 1940
  • Concerto for flute and chamber orchestra, 1944
  • Concerto in C major for orchestra - first performance on July 1, 1953 by the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor: Franz Jung
  • Concerto in E for String Orchestra - premiere on 28 May 1955 by the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Conductor: Franz Konwitschny
  • Concertante music no. 1, 1961
  • Concertante music no. 2, 1964
  • Moritzburg Concerto No. 1, 1965
  • Moritzburg Concerto No. 2, 1968
  • 5 concertos for harpsichord and chamber orchestra
  • Arrival Symphony for Chamber Orchestra, 1974

Organ worksEdit

  • Totentanz - Variations on an old folk song: "It is a reaper, is called death", 1944
  • Organ book of the Dresden Kreuzkirche, 1950
  • Suite, 1952
  • Organ Suite, 1962
  • Toccata, 1964
  • Leksand Suite, 1966
  • Fantasia, 1969
  • Siljan Suite, 1970
  • Metamorphosis, 1970
  • Fantasy about Bells of the Cross Church (EGAHD), 1973
  • Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, 1975 - premiere April 10–12, 1975 by the Dresden Philharmonic, conductor: Hartmut Haenchen
  • Fantasy - Triptych, 1975
  • 2 concertos for organ and vibraphone, 1978
  • "Media in vita" for vibraphone and organ - premiere on 11 June 1979 at the Kreuzkirche Dresden

Chamber musicEdit

  • Suite for piano, 1945
  • Sonata for flute and piano, 1954
  • New piano pieces (223 movements), 1960–1962

Vocal musicEdit

  • 3 Christmas carols, 1943
  • St. John Passion, 1953
  • How the city lies so desolate, 1956
  • For we have no permanent town here, 1959
  • Te Deum, 1959
  • Great Psalter, 1961
  • German Magnificat, 1962
  • Fantasy about b-a-c-h, 1964
  • Spiritual motets and chants

Theater musicEdit


  • Metamorphose für Orgel.[5] (1970)
  • Kleine Messe für Positiv.[6]
  • Totentanz : Variationen über ein altes Volkslied für Orgel "Es ist ein Schnitter, heißt der Tod".[7] (1979)
  • Christum wir sollen loben : Weihnachts-Motette; kleine Choral-Partita für gemischten Chor a cappella.[8]
  • Bach: Französische Suiten (1–6)
  • Bach: Das Orgelwerk auf Silbermann-Orgeln
  • List of 71 Compositions by Collum in the German National Library.[9]


  • Detlef Gojowy: „Suche nach Identität“ – Kreuzorganist Herbert Collum.[10] in Die Dresdner Kirchenmusik im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, edited by Matthias Herrmann, Laaber 1998, pp. 353–367 (Musik in Dresden 3), ISBN 3-89007-331-X


  1. ^ Walter Clemens, Werner Busch: In memory of Fritz Reuter. In Heinz Wegener (editor's note): Gedenkschrift Fritz Reuter (Scientific journal of the Humboldt University of Berlin. Social and linguistic science series 15 (1966) 3). pp. I-VI, here: p. V.
  2. ^ "Zum Gedenken an den 100. Geburtstag von Kreuzorganist Herbert Collum (1914-1982) - Evangelischer Kirchenverband Köln und Region". kirche-koeln.de. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  3. ^ Lars Herrmann. "Straßen Nickern". dresdner-stadtteile.de. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  4. ^ Barbara Wiermann. 50 Jahre Dresdner Musikgeschichte und mehr. BIS - Das Magazin der Bibliotheken in Sachsen, Jg. 10 (2017), issue. 1. pp. 55–57. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  5. ^ Metamorphose für Orgel on WorlCat
  6. ^ Kleine Messe für Positiv on WorldCat
  7. ^ Totentanz : Variationen über ein altes Volkslied für Orgel "Es ist ein Schnitter, heißt der Tod" on WorldCat
  8. ^ Christum wir sollen loben : Weihnachts-Motette; kleine Choral-Partita für gemischten Chor a cappella on WorldCat
  9. ^ List of 71 Compositions by Collum in the German National Library.
  10. ^ "Suche nach Identität" - Kreuzorganist Herbert Collum on WorldCat

External linksEdit