Albert Zabel was born in Berlin in 1834. Through a scholarship obtained for him by Meyerbeer, he studied at the Berlin Institut fur Kirchenmusik where his harp teacher was Louis Grimm. From the age of eleven he toured for three years with Gungl’s band, travelling to Russia, England and the United States. At fourteen he was appointed solo harpist to the Berlin Opera and in 1855 he moved to St Petersburg to become solo harpist with the Imperial Ballet, remaining there for the rest of his life. In 1862 Anton Rubinstein founded the St Petersburg Conservatory and appointed Zabel as teacher of the harp. He became professor in 1879 and, subsequently, honorary distinguished professor in 1904. He died in 1910 in St Petersburg.
Zabel left a sizeable number of compositions for the harp, including a concerto in C minor, Op 35. Am Springbrunnen, or La Source as it is often called, is probably his most famous composition for the harp.
from notes by Susan Drake © 1983