|Age, death and recognition
Sulzers memorial on Viennese Central Cemetry
Salomon Sulzer served as choirmaster and organist at the City Temple in Vienna for 55 years. He was 77 years old when he finally passed on the office to younger hands. By this time Sulzer was very highly honoured. It led to a real Sulzer cult. Even the emperor counted amongst his admirers. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that he was awarded many medals and marks of distinction. In addition to the many awards from Austria, he also received recognition from Russia and the Pope. The city of Vienna also paid honour to their famous citizen and awarded him an honorary citizenship.
Despite all these marks of distinction and expressions of admiration, Sulzer never lost contact with his home town of Hohenems. For example, he was close friends with the Jewish mayors. He was always willing to offer moral and practical support on the appointment of any new rabbis, choirmasters, organists and teachers in Hohenems. He showed his attachment to the synagogue in Hohenems by donating a harmonium for the musical arrangements of services.
In his old age he expressed the wish to “put his mortal frame to rest on home soil next to my forefathers!! There would be a suitable small place in the middle of the wall at the top with a beautiful view, a place of pilgrimage for my ancestors and maybe for many an admirer of Jehovah’s bards of long ago ….”.
This wish – to be buried in Hohenems – was not fulfilled. Salomon Sulzer died of pneumonia on 17th January 1890 in Vienna. His funeral was very well attended. All the major newspapers in Vienna reported on it. The much admired singer and composer was buried in an honorary grave given by the city of Vienna at its central cemetery.
Sulzer’s fame spread “from Dnjestr to Missisippi”. His composition “Schir Zion” achieved worldwide recognition. Even today his music is played in synagogues, particularly in the USA. Therefore, Sulzer can be rightly referred to as the most famous citizen of Hohenems.
At the end of his chapter on Salomon Sulzer in his large volume on the history of the Jews from Hohenems, Aron Tänzer writes:
“Honour the memory of the inspired genius, the divinely gifted singer and the loyal man of Hohenems.”
More information about Salomon Sulzer
biography | his life | integration | friends | music | the reformer | recognition