First name(s)
Hubert Joseph Karl
Position(s) held at King's College London
  • Lecturer on Music and Music History, mainly on Wagner. Lecture courses delivered during 1887-1892
  • 1896-1898
  • 1902-1904

Education & professional details

School, college and/or university attended
  • Moravian School, Neuwied
  • Cologne Conservatory (piano)
Position(s) held (non King's College London)
  • 1881 Appointed Conductor of the Court Theatre, Sloane Square
  • 1885 Lecturer on Musical Drama, Birkbeck Institute, Chancery Lane
  • 1896-94 Musical Assistant, Bayreuth
  • 1890 and 1891 Toured USA for several months with singer Pauline Cramer, giving lectures on, and recitals of Wagner etc
  • 1900 Music Advisor to the London County Council, promoting music in London parks.
  • Many publications, compositions, arrangements, books mainly about, or edited scores of, Wagner and 19th century composers e.g.: The Silver Shield (song) Music by CA, words by FE Weatherley. London: JB Cramer & Co 1885
  • Richard Wagner: The Meistersingers of Nuremberg: a guide to the music and drama. Translated by CA etc. London, Leipzig (reprinted), Schott & Co 1892
  • Teilman's Festmarsch, arranged by CA: Piano duet. London, S Lucas, Weber & Co 1892
  • Die Tiroler Bergbahnen, Wien 1914.

Personal details

Date of birth
13 July 1846
Place of birth
Andernach (at that point in Prussian Rhineland)
Date of death
10 June 1917
Place of death
34 Sinclair Road, Hammersmith

The Musical Times 24 June 1817

Family details
  • Son of Johannes Carolus Armbruster, businessman in minerals and mining, b 1825 and Josepha Hubar, b 1820
  • Sisters: Maria Gertrud, b 1848, Helena Sophia Isabella, b 1851. The Armbruster family moved to England on 2 July 1868. Carl became a naturalised British citizen on 13 July 1868. Married Jane (Jenny/Jeannie) Ford on 6 Dec 1870. Children: Violet Jeannie Caroline Josephine Rosa (1871), Carl Hubert Joseph (1874), Hubert Edward Henri Siegfried (1874). Three others died young: Carl (1873), Carl (1882), and Charles Bertolt (1888).


Carl Armbruster's father died only 3 months after the family moved to London, so Carl had to continue in his father's business rather than take up music professionally, although he continued to study with several pupils of Lizst and admirers of Wagner. Gradually, he built enough of a reputation as a musician to give up the mineral business by 1881. He was a key figure in developing music in London parks. He was appointed Music Advisor to the LCC in April 1900, and greatly expanded the number, quality and musical range of the concerts given. He was the first to introduce music to parks in London's East End, and gradually raised the popularity of classical music. Between 1886 and 1894, he spent a lot of time in Bayreuth as repetiteur, chorus director and on-stage conductor. George Bernard Shaw said (article in The World, 6.12.1893) " [CA] is in fact, a Bayreuth Extension Lecturer, that is, he does for Bayreuth what University Extension Lecturers do for Oxford and Cambridge" CA's ongoing working (and other?) relationship with Wagnerian singer Pauline Cramer probably led to the split-up of Caro and Jenny's marriage. From 1901, the year after C and P's American first lecture/recital tour, Jenny is recorded as living at a separate address: 155 Holland Road, Kensington. She died 2.11.1920.


All information taken from: A Bayreuth Extension Lecturer: Carl Armbruster and Music in the Parks. David Cormack, The Musical Times No 1914, 2011, pp 61-66

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