Friedrich Adolph Borsdorf was born in Dittmansdorf, Saxony on the 25th December 1854, son of a farmer Borsdorf studied at the Dresden Conservatoire and then joined a regimental band. It was while playing with them that he first came to England in 1879.
On arrival in England Borsdoff won a contract to play in the stage band at Covent Garden, with this came regular engagements around the country as a horn player and also a viola player in the Gaiety Theatre in London.
During his time at the opera he was noticed by the conductor Hans Richter who always requested him at his concerts and for a while he dominated the concert halls of Britain with his playing.
Borsdorf became a professor at both the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music, he revolutionised the style of horn playing in Britain. He became one of the most influential teachers of his time.
It was fairly well known that Borsdorf contracted gum disease in 1911, this impacted his playing and it was presumed that this was the reason he left the London Symphony Orchestra. Family history tells another story. During the war the London Symphony Orchestra suspended all German players until after the hostilities. This put severe financial difficulties on the family.
On the 28th October 1915 the LSO board discussed Borsdorf‘s membership and they decided it was time for him to go. They decided unanimously to ask for his resignation. There was no reply from the initial letter sent to Borsdorf and the following week another letter was sent this time by recorded delivery. Borsdorf resigned from the LSO and never played again.
Friedrich Adolph Borsdorf died in London on the 15th April 1923 (aged 68) he is buried in Highgate Cemetery East, Camden, London.
Friedrich Adolph Borsdorf, Master Mason, Lodge Dramatic No.571
Initiated 4th January 1883
Passed 8th February 1883
Raised 13th February 1883