President Martin G. Dumler (1868-1958)

President Martin G. Dumler (1868-1958)
Martin G. Dumler
Martin G. Dumler
1868-1958


Martin G. Dumler's long and distinguished life embraced the cultural community of Cincinnati and the nation. He combined success in business with the artistic pursuits of painting and composing.

He was born in Cincinnati on December 22, 1868. Music captured his interest early and as a boy he sang in the church choir. His first musical instruction came from Professor H. Steinfeld, the organist at St. Joseph's Church. This instruction included violin and piano.

In 1883 Dumler became a four-dollar-a-week office boy for Chatfield and Woods Sack Company. By 1929 he was president of the company. While making his way to the top of Chatfield and Woods, Dumler found time in 1888 to visit the musical centers of Europe. In the Göllerich/Auer Biography of Bruckner, it states that Dumler was present at the January 22, 1888 concert when Hans Richter conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 and the Te Deum. [Göllerich/Auer IV/2, p. 586] The footnote on that page states, Dr. Martin Dumler, Honorary Chairman of The Bruckner Society of America was visiting the concert and became a Brucknerian.

In 1890 Dumler began his studies at the Cincinnati College of Music. He studied voice with Tecla Vigna and Lino Mattioli and composition with Almon W. Vincent and Dr. Nicholas J. Elsenheimer. Dumler graduated in 1901. In 1924 the College presented him with its first honorary Master of Music degree. Ten years later the College bestowed upon him an honorary Doctor of Music.

Dumler's compositions were primarily settings of sacred texts. In 1927 the Society of St. Gregory of America recommended his Missa Latreutica, op. 10 as a model of Catholic liturgical music. That same year, Xavier University presented him with an honorary Doctor of Laws. In 1932, Dumler became president of the Bruckner Society of America. His orchestral work Four Ballet Scenes received the 1944 Sachs Prize from the Institute of Fine Arts in Cincinnati.

Dumler's association with the University of Cincinnati was an active one. He served on UC's board of directors for thirty years, twelve as chairman. He was also vice president of the merged College-Conservatory of Music.

Dumler wrote orchestral and chamber music, but his sacred music brought him the most recognition. Several of his masses and motets have become part of the permanent repertoire of leading choirs in this country and in Europe. His devotion to sacred music went beyond the act of composition. He was a choir member of St. Francis de Sales Church for more than forty years.

Dumler was also widely known for his oil paintings, which have been exhibited in many American art museums. He was an honorary life member of both the Cincinnati Art Club and the Cincinnati Art Museum. In 1946, he was named to the advisory board of the International Fine Arts Council in New York.

Dumler died in Cincinnati on October 19, 1958 at the age of ninety.

When Mr. Dumler was elected "Chairman" of the Society, the following was written in "Chord and Discord:"

On January 31, 1932, Dr. Martin G. Dumler, M. M., of Cincinnati, Ohio, was elected Honorary Chairman of the Bruckner Society of America. For many years a prominent American composer of sacred music and at present Vice-President of the College of Music of Cincinnati, Dr. Dumler is deeply devoted to Bruckner's art. His regard for that master's music dates back to 1889 when he first heard some of Bruckner's works performed in Vienna. Ever since that time he has left no stone unturned in his efforts to bring about American performances of Bruckner. He not only did much to bring about the first American performance of Bruckner's F Minor Mass, which took place in St. Francis de Sales Church, Cincinnati, on July 15, 1900, but actually took part as one of the singers. In 1907 he became personally acquainted with Gustav Mahler, in whose genius he has been a firm believer ever since. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati May Festival Association he made the suggestion last year which led to the inclusion of Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand on the Festival program. The Executive Committee of the Bruckner Society of America wishes to express to Dr. Dumler its appreciation of his acceptance of the Honorary Chairmanship left vacant by the late Mrs. Lanier.


List of Compositions by Martin G. Dumler
A Plaque honoring Martin Dumler at Xavier University
A Plaque honoring Martin Dumler at Xavier University