RIEMENSCHNEIDER, ALBERT (31 Aug. 1878-20 July 1950) became a world renowned authority on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and founder of the BACH FESTIVAL in BEREA, Ohio. A native of Berea, he was the son of Dr. Karl Riemenschneider, president of German Wallace College, a forerunner of BALDWIN-WALLACE COLLEGE. The younger Riemenschneider was appointed head of the music dept. during his junior year at the college, in 1898. He held that position for 49 years, overseeing the establishment of a full-fledged Conservatory of Music in 1912. In 1904 he married Selma Marting, daughter of the college's treasurer and one of his own music students.
Riemenschneider furthered his musical education by studying organ in Paris under Alexandre Guilmant and Charles Marie Widor. He inaugurated the Bach Festival at B-W in 1933, sustaining it annually for the rest of his life with the aid of his wife, who helped to maintain the series after his death. Riemenschneider also collected an extensive library on Bach, including rare editions of the master's music. He edited 2 collections of Bach organ works, The Liturgical Year and Liturgy for Organ. Upon occasion, he would also use a large Bach manuscript to mask the paperback mysteries and westerns to which he was addicted. Resisting offers from the Library of Congress for the collection, valued during his lifetime at $83,000, Riemenschneider left it to B-W, where it became the nucleus of the Bach Memorial Library of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute. Dying in Akron, Riemenschneider was survived by his wife, 2 sons (Edwin and Paul), and a daughter, Mrs. Wilma Powell of Calif.