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B. Bilse

Benjamin Bilse (17 August 1816 – 13 July 1902) was a German conductor and composer.

Bilse was born in Liegnitz (present-day Legnica) in the Prussian Silesia Province. He obtained a rich musical education, as at the Vienna Conservatory under violinist Joseph Böhm, and played in the orchestra of Johann Strauss I. Returned to Liegnitz, he became municipal Kapellmeister in 1842.

From 1867 he regularly performed with the "Bilse's Band" (Bilse'sche Kapelle) at the Concerthaus on Leipziger Straße in Berlin. The orchestra became increasingly popular, Bilse toured Europe and gave guest concerts in Saint Petersburg, Riga, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Vienna, as well as at the 1867 Exposition Universelle in Paris, where his band performed The Blue Danube together with Johann Strauss II. In 1873 Richard Wagner conducted the orchestra in the presence of Emperor Wilhelm I.

After a fierce quarrel with Bilse about another fourth-class concert trip to Warsaw, 54 musicians in 1882 split to found the "Former Bilse's Band" under conductor Ludwig von Brenner, shortly afterwards renamed Berlin Philharmonic, today one of the world's leading orchestras. Bilse retired a few years later and returned to Liegnitz, where he also died.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 17, 1816 (Legnica), Died July 13, 1902 (Legnica)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1906 - 1914

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-3879 10-in. 10/14/1906 Midst shot and shell march United States Marine Band Band composer  
Victor B-14616 10-in. 3/22/1914 Mit Bomben und Granaten United States Marine Band Band composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Bilse, B.," accessed May 25, 2022,

Bilse, B.. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from

"Bilse, B.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 25 May 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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