Aschenbrödel Verein

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The Aschenbrödel Verein or Cinderella Club was founded in 1860 as a social and benevolent association for professional orchestral musicians in New York City.(2) From it emerged the Musical Mutual Protective Union in 1864.(1) This club also joined the Arion and Liederkranz in a "Grand Concert for the benefit of the German Patriotic Society Fund," attended by William and C. F. Theodor. (Diary, 1870-09-12)

The Aschenbrödel Verein became one of the leading German organizations in Kleindeutschland on the Lower East Side. It counted among its members "some of the most prominent German-American musicians in New York City."(4) They included conductors Carl Bergmann, Theodore Thomas, Walter Damrosch, and the musicians of the New York Philharmonic and Theodore Thomas Orchestras.(2)

In April of 1892 the Aschenbrödel Club laid the cornerstone for its new home on 86th St. near Lexington Ave. in Yorkville.(3)(5) C. A. Goepel was President and Chair of the Building Committee. At the time the club had about 700 members and knowledge of German was a requirement.(5) The large new house in "the design of the 4-story brick building echoing German Renaissance Revival influence was palatial."(5) It boasted all amenities and a thousand seat concert hall on the third floor. The opening was celebrated with music by some of the most prominent men's choruses of the city (5) and a 'happy Kommers.'(3) William Steinway and Mayor Grant(5) attended along with many luminaries from the German-American community, among them van der Stucken, Anton Seidel, Walter Damrosch, R. Katzenmayer, George and Frank Ehret, and many others.(3) Eventually the Aschenbrödel Verein combined with the Schillerbund.

The New York Schillerbund Singing Society bought the old Aschenbrödel house on 74 East 4th Street and owned it for four years. (Diary, 1892-12-13)(2) This building was the subject of a Greenwich Village Historical Society preservation effort in testimony before the New York Landmark Commission in 2009, when the building housed the La MaMa Experimental Theater Club and "remains one of the significant reminders of 19th-century German-American cultural contributions to New York City, as well as the continuing vitality of Off-Broadway theater in the East Village."(4)



  1. Koegel, John. Music in German Immigrant Theater, New York City 1840-1940. Rochester, NY; University of Rochester Press, 2009, p. 367.
  2. Landmark Preservation Commission, New York City, Nov. 17, 2009, Designation List 423, LP-2328, pp. 1-6,
  3. "The Musician's Home," New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung, November 10, 1892, p. 5.
  4. Testimony of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, March 24, 2009.
  5. "Years of Prosperity," The New York Times, Jan. 26, 1896, p. 6.