Ludwig Thuille was born on November 30, 1861, in Bozen (Southern Tyrol) as the son of the art and music dealer Thuille and his second wife Maria Notburga, née Offer (or Hofer), whose family came from Gries (Brenner). Already as a child he composed short pieces. After playing some pranks on his father he made up with him by playing them on the harmonium in the store or improvisingother tunes.
After losing his parents at an early age he was brought to the Benedictine Abbey in Kremsmünster (Upper Austria), where he attended grammar school also receiving instruction in playing the piano and the violin.
In 1876 Pauline Nagiller, the widow of the conductor Matthäus Nagiller of the Innsbruck Musical Society, who died in 1874, brought him to Innsbruck where he became a student of Joseph Pembaur the Elder. Through her he became acquainted with the young Richard Strauss, and she alsomade it possible for him to move to Munich in 1879.
After finishing his studies in Munich (theory and composition with Joseph Rheinberger and piano with KarlBärmann jr.) he was anxious to find a secure occupation. He became a teacher at the Royal Music School in Munich, later a professor for piano and harmony, and after Rheinberger´s death he also started giving composition lessons. Thuille was an excellent teacher thus students from allover Europe flocked to his courses. He was regarded as a moderate progressive and became the founder of the so-called Munich school. On February 2, 1907, Thuille surprisingly died in Munich of a heart attack.
Thuille´s main compositions are solo songs, opera, and piano chamber music. In additionto 35 solo songs and three piano sonatas in his Innsbruck days, he also wrote the string quartette in A major which was composed between February 1 and 10, 1872, and which has been presented here for the very first time. The third movement (Scherzo with Trio) has been taken from the pianosonata number 2 according to a hand-written note of Thuilles. In a letter of April the 4, 1878, Richard Strauss writes to Ludwig Thuille, “Dearest, best, most wonderful Ludwig! Coming home today and finding a package from Innsbruck I detected the reason for your long hesitation,which was a little embarrassing for me, as I began to believe you were perhaps prevented from writing by a serious illness. Then I sawthe package. Cutting the strings and tearing the paper covering off was done in ten seconds. I unrolled the paper, and - Idid not trust my eyes – the quartette of 2 violins, viola and cello was dedicated to me. You cannot imagine the joy which I felt, at first quickly going over the letter, afterwards sitting down at the piano- brilliantly made, full of intensification, wonderful form.”