Lotte Lenya
(Movies & TV)
Bertolt Brecht
Fritz Busch
Paul Juon
Paul Hindemith
Martha Schlamme

See also

Kurt Weill

Knowledge Identifier: +Kurt_Weill


Kurt Weill

German composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States add

Category: Music

Born in 1900.

Countries: United States (32%), Germany (29%), United Kingdom (11%)

Main connections: Lotte Lenya, Bertolt Brecht, Fritz Busch

Linked to: Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kurzweil Music Systems, Time, November Group




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Kurt Weill was born in 1900 add something


At the age of twelve, Kurt Weill started taking piano lessons and made his first attempts at writing music; his earliest preserved composition was written in 1913 and is titled "Mi Addir add something


In 1915, Weill started taking private lessons with Albert Bing, Kapellmeister at the "Herzogliches Hoftheater zu Dessau", who taught him piano, composition, music theory, and conducting add something


Weill performed publicly on piano for the first time in 1915, both as an accompanist and soloist add something


Weill graduated with an Abitur from the "Oberrealschule" of Dessau in 1918, and enrolled at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik at the age of 18, where he studied composition with Engelbert Humperdinck, conducting with Rudolf Krasselt, and counterpoint with Friedrich E. Koch, and attended philosophy lectures by Max Dessoir and Ernst Cassirer add something


Weill's family experienced financial hardship in the aftermath of World War I, and in July 1919, Weill abandoned his studies and returned to Dessau, where he was employed as a répétiteur at the Friedrich-Theater under the direction of the new Kapellmeister, Hans Knappertsbusch add something


In December 1919, through the help of Humperdinck, Weill was appointed as Kapellmeister at the newly founded Stadttheater in Lüdenscheid, where he directed opera, operetta, and singspiel for five months, and composed a cello sonata and "Ninon de Lenclos", a now lost one-act operatic adaptation of a play by Ernst Hardt add something


His musical theatre work and his songs were extremely popular with the wider public in Germany at the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s add something


Before he returned to Berlin, in September 1920, he composed "Sulamith", a choral fantasy for soprano, female choir, and orchestra add something


From May to September 1920, Weill spent a couple of months in Leipzig, where his father had become the new director of a Jewish orphanage add something


Back in Berlin, Weill had an interview with Ferruccio Busoni in December 1920 add something


Henry Jolles - After studying piano with Artur Schnabel and Edwin Fischer and composition with Paul Juon and, privately, with Kurt Weill, Jolles began to develop a successful performing career in the 1920s


Operetta - Much later, in the 1920s and 1930s, Kurt Weill took a more extreme form of the Berlin operetta style and used it in his operas, operettas, and musicals


In spring of 1922, Weill joined the November Group's music faction add something


On November 18, 1922, his children's pantomime "Die Zaubernacht" premiered at the Theater am Kurfürstendamm; it was the first public performance of any of Weill's works in the field of musical theatre add something


Out of financial need, Weill taught music theory and composition to private students from 1923 to 1925 add something


Further premieres that year included a performance of his "Divertimento for Orchestra" by the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Heinz Unger on April 10, 1923, and the Hindemith-Amar Quartet's rendering of Weill's "String Quartet", Op. 8, on June 24, 1923 add something


In December 1923, Weill finished his studies with Busoni add something


Nikos Skalkottas - Deciding in 1923 to give up his career as a violinist and become a composer, he studied composition with Robert Kahn, Paul Juon, Kurt Weill and Philipp Jarnach


At Kaiser's house in Grünheide, Weill first met the actress and future wife Lotte Lenya in summer 1924 add something


In February 1924 the conductor Fritz Busch introduced him to the dramatist Georg Kaiser, with whom Weill would have a long-lasting creative partnership resulting in several one-act operas add something


From November 1924 to May 1929, Weill wrote hundreds of reviews for the influential and comprehensive radio program guide "Der deutsche Rundfunk" add something


The Threepenny Opera - Engel directed the original production of "The Threepenny Opera" in 1928 add something


The Flight across the Ocean - Baden-Baden Music Festival - Written for the Baden-Baden Music Festival, it was originally entitled "Lindbergh's Flight" and premiered in 1929 with music by Kurt Weill and Paul Hindemith in a broadcast by the Southwest German Radio Orchestra under the direction of Hermann Scherchen


Weill's working association with Brecht, although successful, came to an end over politics in 1930 add something


Marguerite Beriza - The Threepenny Opera - One of her last stage appearances was as Polly Peachum in Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" in 1930


Rudolf Wagner-Regeny - Between 1930 to 1945 he worked as a freelance composer and teacher, and with the rise of the Nazis was promoted by a faction of the party as a composer of the future despite the stylistic closeness of his music to the proscribed Kurt Weill


Carl Ebert - Among the productions during his tenure were the world premiere of Weill's "Die Bürgschaft" in 1932, and a new production of Verdi's "Un ballo in maschera" in the same year, on which he collaborated for the first time with the conductor Fritz Busch


Weill fled Nazi Germany in March 1933 add something


On April 13, 1933 his musical "The Threepenny Opera" was given its premiere on Broadway, but closed after 13 performances to mixed reviews add something


Edward James - He had several productions created expressly for her, the most notable of which was "Les Ballets 1933", which included Kurt Weill, Lotte_Lenya and George Balanchine


Alexander von Zemlinsky - A three-movement Sinfonietta written in 1934, admired by Schoenberg and Berg, is written in a style comparable to contemporary works by Paul Hindemith and Kurt Weill


Manhattan Opera House - A production of his operetta "Der Kuhhandel" took him to London in 1935, and later that year he went to the United States in connection with "The Eternal Road", a "Biblical Drama" by Franz Werfel that had been commissioned by members of New York's Jewish community and was premiered in 1937 at the Manhattan Opera House, running for 153 performances add something


He and his wife moved to New York City on September 10, 1935, living first at the St. Moritz Hotel before moving on to an apartment at 231 East 62nd Street between Third and Second Avenues add something


Paul Green (playwright) - During the summer of 1936, Green, Cheryl Crawford, Kurt Weill and Weill's wife Lotte Lenya rented an old house in Nichols, Connecticut near the summer rehearsal headquarters of the Group Theatre at Pine Brook Country Club


In the 1940s Weill lived in Downstate New York near the New Jersey border and made frequent trips both to New York City and to Hollywood for his work for theatre and film add something


Weill was active in political movements encouraging American entry into World War II, and after America joined the war in 1941, Weill enthusiastically collaborated in numerous artistic projects supporting the war effort both abroad and on the home front add something


Weill became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943 add something


Sylvia Stahlman - She began her career on Broadway, in 1948-49, in Kurt Weill's "Love Life", opposite Nanette Fabray, directed by Elia Kazan

Kurt Weill died in 1950 add something


Weill suffered a heart attack shortly after his 50th birthday and died on April 3, 1950 in New York City add something


Doretta Morrow - For the "Pulitzer Prize Playhouse" show she filmed a 1950 television version of the Kurt Weill musical "Knickerbocker Holiday" in which she played Tina Tienhoven


Thomas Stewart (bass-baritone) - He married soprano Evelyn Lear in 1955, and the following year the couple participated in a studio cast recording of Kurt Weill's "Johnny Johnson", first produced in 1936


Shirley Verrett - New York City Opera - In 1958, she made her New York City Opera debut as Irina in Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars"


Martha Schlamme - Edinburgh Festival - In 1959, her performance of songs from the operas and musicals of the German composer Kurt Weill at the Edinburgh Festival led to much wider awareness of her work; she herself said it made her "a star overnight


Cleo Laine - Edinburgh Festival - "You'll Answer to Me" reached the British Top 10 while Laine was "prima donna" in the 1961 Edinburgh Festival production of Kurt Weill's opera/ballet "The Seven Deadly Sins", directed and choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan


Martha Schlamme - MGM released her albums "The World of Kurt Weill in Song" in 1962 and "A Kurt Weill Cabaret" in 1963


Muriel Costa-Greenspon - In 1963 Greenspon joined the roster at the New York City Opera, beginning her tenure with the company portraying Olga Olsen in Kurt Weill's "Street Scene"


Judy Collins - While Collins' first few albums comprised straightforward guitar-based folk songs, with 1966's "In My Life", she began branching out and including work from such diverse sources as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Jacques Brel, and Kurt Weill


Tom Waits - His songwriting shifted as well, moving away from the traditional piano-and-strings ballad sound of his 1970s output towards a number of styles largely ignored in pop music, including primal blues, cabaret stylings, rumbas, theatrical approaches in the style of Kurt Weill, tango music, early country music and European folk music as well as the Tin Pan Alley-era songs that influenced his early output


Patricia Neway - She returned there in 1972 to play the Widow Begbick in Kurt Weill's "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny"


Astrid Varnay - She returned to the Metropolitan in 1974 and last appeared there in Weill's "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny" in 1979


Eric Salzman - From 1975 to 1990 he produced and directed over two dozen recordings , several of which received Grammy *award nominations; these feature works by composers such as Weill, Partch and Bolcom, as well as his own music


Barrie Gavin - In 1977 Gavin had been invited to Germany to make a film about Kurt Weill


Teresa Stratas - While rehearsing for "Mahagonny" in 1979, Stratas met the originator of her role, Lotte Lenya, who was Kurt Weill's widow


Ellen Burstyn - In 1981, Burstyn recorded "The Ballad of the Nazi Soldier's Wife" for Ben Bagley's album " Kurt Weill Revisited, Vol. 2"


Catherine Zeta-Jones - She played Mae Jones in the Kurt Weill opera Street Scene with the English National Opera at the London Coliseum Theatre in 1989.


In 1991, seminal Swiss Industrial music band The Young Gods released their album of Kurt Weill songs, "The Young Gods Play Kurt Weill" add something


Marianne Faithfull - Her interpretation of the music led to a new album, "Twentieth Century Blues" , which focused on the music of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, followed in 1998 by a recording of "The Seven Deadly Sins", with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies


Willem Breuker - In 1997 he produced, with Carrie de Swaan, a 48-hour, 12-part radio documentary on the life of Weill entitled "Componist Kurt Weill


Massiel - In 1997 she released an album covering the music of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, in Spanish, called "Baladas Y Canciones De Bertolt Brecht"


Peter Zadek - He directed Kurt Weill's opera, "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny" at the Salzburg Festival in 1998


Marianne Faithfull - Later she performed Kurt Weill's "The Seven Deadly Sins" with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, a CD of which was released in 1998


Orchestre Metropolitain - In October 2005, the OM received a Felix Prize from the ADISQ *awards for their album of Kurt Weill, in collaboration with Diane Dufresne


Tazewell Thompson - He was nominated for an Emmy in 2006 as Best Director for the televised production of his "Porgy and Bess" produced at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. In August 2012, he directed Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars" for Glimmerglass Opera, based on the South African classic, "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton


In 2008, Weill's songs were performed by Canadian musicians in a tribute concert as part of the first annual Canwest Cabaret Festival in Toronto add something


Hannah Gordon - !Edinburgh International Festival - She was the narrator of the opening concert at the 2008 Edinburgh International Festival - "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny" by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht at Usher Hall on Friday, 8 August 2008


In 2009 Duke Special released an EP, "Huckleberry Finn", of five songs from an unfinished musical by Kurt Weill based on the novel by Mark Twain add something


Ethan Mordden - His 2012 book "Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya" is a dual biography chronicling the romance and professional collaboration of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya