The Musical Dossenbachs in Europe, 1911–1912 (Rochester History Author Spotlight) – in-person and virtual

Kate Gleason Auditorium, Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604

In 1911–1912, Rochester conductor Hermann Dossenbach and his family spent a year in Europe, studying the world’s foremost conductors and musicians. This sojourn had a profound effect on Rochester’s music scene, helping to create the atmosphere that would lead to the establishment of the renowned Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music.

The trip is the focus of Lisa Kleman’s feature article in the Fall 2023 issue of Rochester History. During this Author Spotlight, Kleman will explore the Dossenbachs’ year in Europe, discuss her research, including the discovery of a diary written by one of Hermann’s daughters while in Europe, and consider the act of storytelling. How do we recreate the past? How do we make it true and factual, while also including the drama and the emotions?

Lisa Kleman retired from teaching English at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and in 2013 moved to Rochester, New York, where her ancestors, the musical Dossenbachs, once lived.  For the next eight years, she immersed herself in the Dossenbachs’ world. She is working on two books about the Dossenbachs, one strictly historical and the other a sort of creative nonfiction in which the ancestors get to speak for themselves.

This program is presented in partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology Department of History and RIT Press. To subscribe to Rochester History, visit Rochester History Annual Subscription – RIT Press ( Copies of the journal will also be available for sale for $10 each at the event.

Registration is recommended but not required.

This is an in-person event that will also be livestreamed at