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Bernhard Sekles was born in Frankfurt am Main, the son of Maximilian Seckeles and Anna, (née Bischheim). The family name Seckeles was changed by Bernhard Sekles to Sekles. From 1894 to 1895 he was the third Kapellmeister at the Stadttheater in Mainz. In 1896 he became a teacher at the Hoch'sche Konservatorium in Frankfurt am Main; here he started the first jazz class anywhere in 1928. He was the director of the Hoch'sche Konservatorium from 1923 to 1933. For his composition students, See: List of music students by teacher: R to S#Bernhard Sekles. He was one of the first German Jewish academics to lose his job when Hitler came to power in Germany. He died in his native Frankfurt am Main.
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