Charles Martin Loeffler (1861–1935) was one of America's great composer and violinist. From 1882 until 1903 he shared with Franz Kneisel the position of first violinist and soloist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Near his retirement from
in 1903 (at the age of 42) John Singer Sargent painted an oil of
Loeffler for Isabella Stewart
Gardner and inscribed it "To Mrs. Gardner . . . Buone Feste from her
John S. Sargent". The painting is at Fenway Court.
The two men were close friends. See Loeffler's letter describing John Singer Sargent's own musical ability (see letter)
Loeffler was born in Alsace, France; he studied in Kiev, Berlin, and Paris. In 1881 he emigrated to the United States, becoming a citizen in '87. He was strongly influenced by French music and literature and was great friend of Gabriel Fauré whom he would come to aid when Fauré found himself broke and out of work in 1920.
Loeffler was active in the American musical scene. He was on the board of directors of the Boston Opera, and involved in the creation of the Julliard school in New York in 1924.
After leaving the
Symphoney in '03,
he moved to a farm with horses in Medfield, Massachusetts, married
Elise Burnett Fay in 1910, and composed
and taught until his death in 1935.