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Paul Hindemith

Paul Hindemith

Country of origin: Germany
Birthday: November 16, 1895
Date of death: December 28, 1963

Upcoming Performances

Kammermusik Nr. 5
Conductor: Fredrik Burstedt
Orchestra: Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester
March 7, 2024 | Helsingborg (Sweden) , Konserthus
Kammermusik Nr. 7
Orchestra: New European Ensemble
March 9, 2024 | Amsterdam (Netherlands) , Orgelpark

About Paul Hindemith

In general, the lack of contact in music between the producer and the consumer in our time is regrettable; a composer should only write when he knows for what purpose he is composing. The days of simply composing for oneself have perhaps now been lost for ever. (Paul Hindemith)

Paul Hindemith was born on 16.11.1895 in Hanau. He studied the violin and composition with Adolf Rebner, Arnold Mendelssohn and Bernhard Sekles at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt/Main. He was only twenty when he was appointed as the leader of the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra. After the end of the First World War, he returned to Frankfurt and founded the Amar Quartet in which he played the viola from 1922 to 1929. In 1923, Hindemith became a member of the organisational committee for the Donaueschingen Music Festival: it was at this festival that he gained an initial reputation following the first performance of his String Quartet Op. 16. In 1927, he was appointed as professor for composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. His career as a composer reached a first peak at the beginning of the 1930s, but with the seizure of power by the National Socialists, his works were declared as “culturally bolshevist” and disappeared from concert programmes. Hindemith undertook a number of journeys to Turkey and the USA. In 1936, a final ban was issued for the performance of his works which provoked Hindemith to emigrate, initially to Switzerland. He subsequently relocated to the USA and acquired American nationality (1946). As a professor, he taught at Yale University from 1940 to 1953 and was a guest lecturer for poetry at the Harvard University in 1949/50. From 1951 to 1957, he was a professor for musicology at the Zurich University and settled in Blonay near Lake Geneva. Paul Hindemith died on 28 December 1963 in Frankfurt/Main.

Hindemith played a prominent role in music history, not only as one of the leading composers of the 20th century, but also as conductor, teacher and musical theorist. His oeuvre spans all genres: orchestral works, solo concertos, chamber music for a wide variety of instruments, choral works, lieder, operas and ballets. He was also the author of numerous books and essays, including the book on harmonic theory "Unterweisung im Tonsatz”, first published in 1937. His compositions take up a position within the contradictory contexts of avant-garde provocation, "Neue Sachlichkeit” [New Objectivity] and the search for a universally accepted musical language. While Kammermusik No.1 which was premiered in1922 in Donaueschingen was deliberately intended to provoke the bourgeois public with its wailing sirens, the later Kammermusik works which were composed up to 1927 display the transparent, contrapuntal and well-dosed harmony which chiefly characterised Hindemith’s works during his central creative phase. The Concerto for violin and orchestra from 1939 heralded a series of later solo concertos which display Hindemith’s fully matured style.

Hindemith produced a decisively contrasting alternative to Wagner’s musical dramas with his comic opera Neues vom Tage (1828-29), composed in the style of the “topical opera” of the 1920s. Hindemith’s operas frequently contain stylistic elements of parody which can also be detected in his ironical chamber music works such as Minimax (1923) or the Ouvertüre zum „Fliegenden Holländer“ („wie sie eine Kurkapelle morgens um 7 am Brunnen vom Blatt spielt“) [Overture to the “Flying Dutchman” (“as played at sight by the spa orchestra at seven o’clock in the morning at the fountain”)]. Hindemith made a substantial contribution to the genre of music theatre with his operas Cardillac (1925-26/1952), Mathis der Maler (1934-35) and Die Harmonie der Welt (1956-57).

Hindemith received honorary doctorates from numerous universities including the University of Frankfurt (1949), the FU Berlin (1950) and Oxford University (1954). He also received the Bach Prize from the city of Hamburg (1951), the Order pour le mérite (1952), the Sibelius Prize (1955), the Kunstpreis from the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia (1958) and the Bazlan Prize (1963). Since 2000, the city of Hanau has commemorated “the lifework of this illustrious artist” with the biennial awarding of the Paul Hindemith Prize of the city of Hanau.



Born on 16 Nov. in Hanau
Received musical instruction in Mühlheim am Main from his father and Eugen Reinhardt
Violin pupil of Anna Hegner in Frankfurt/Main
Violin pupil of Adolf Rebner; Beginning in winter semester of 1908, studies at Dr. Hoch's Conservatory in Frankfurt
Performance together with his sister Toni (born 1898) and his brother Rudolf (born 1900) as "Frankfurt Children´s Trio"
Composition pupil of Arnold Mendelssohn; 1913 Composition instruction given by Bernhard Sekles
Member or the Rebner Quartet, first as violinist, later on the viola
Publically performs Beethoven´s violin concerto. First solo violinist of Opera house Orchestra in Frankfurt; father dies in battle in Flanders
Regimental musician in Alsace and Flanders
2 June: Composition evening in Frankfurt; Schott takes over the publication of Hindemith´s works
First performance of Quartet Opus 16 during the "Donaueschinger Chamber Music Performances for the Advancement of Contemporary Art und Music". Scandal upon the performance of the one-act opera "Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen" and the play "Das Nusch-Nuschi" under the direction of Fritz Busch in Stuttgart

The founding of the Amar Quartet with Hindemith on the viola

Resigns position as first solo violinist in Frankfurt; under contract with Schott. Member of the Programme Committee of the Donaueschingen Chamber Music Days. Begin of extensive concert tours with the Amar Quartet throughout Europe
Hindemith marries Gertrud Rottenberg
Appointment to the College of Music (Hochschule für Musik) in Berlin
Being attributes to "cultural Bolshevism" Hindemith music is banned from concert programmes in Germany
12 March: First performance of the symphony "Mathis der Maler" conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler; November: Furtwängler puplishes an article entitled "The Case of Hindemith" to which Goebbels responds in a speech at the Berlin Portpalast
Hindemith takes extended leave from the State College of Music Berlin; April/May: First tour of Turkey
March/May: Second tour of Turkey; Performances in Germany forbidden
February and September: Third and fourth tour of Turkey; March-April: First tour of the U.S.A. (East Coast)
February-April: Second tour of the U.S.A.; September: Emigration to Switzerland
Third tour of U.S.A.
February: Emigration to the U.S.A.; appointed to Yale University in New Haven
Instructs summer course at the Berkshire Festival (Tanglewood) on music of the Middle Ages
Concert of the Collegium Musicum of Yale University playing pieces by composers from Perotinus to Bach
Hindemith becomes an American citizen
April-September: First trip to Europe since Emigration; reunion with mother and meeting with Schott publishers Ludwig and Willy Strecker
August-March: Second trip to Europe
Lectures as Professor of Poetry at Harvard University
January-February: Lecture tour through Germany by appointment of the American Military Occupation Government; granted honorary degree from Frankfurt University
September: Gives speech on Bach in Hamburg (Johann Sebastian Bach. Ein vepflichtendes Erbe); Receives honorary degree from the Free University of Berlin
Teaching assignments in Zurich and Yale concurrently
Recipient of Bach Prize of the City of Hamburg; Appointment to the University of Zürich (Switzerland) as professor of music theory, composition and music education
Member of the order Pour le mérite
Frequent concert tours as conductor
Hindemith takes up residence in Blonay, Switzerland, on Lake Geneva
July-November: South American tour; granted honorary degree by Oxford University
Sibelius Prize
April/May: Tour of Japan with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Hindemith resigns teaching positioin in Zurich
Arts Award of North Rhine Westphalia
June: Lecture "Sterbende Gewässer" at the yearly meeting of the order "Pour le mérite" in Bonn; Balzan Prize; Hindemith dies on 28 December 1963 in Frankfurt/Main



Set Descending Direction
  • Kammermusik Nr. 5
    Conductor: Fredrik Burstedt
    Orchestra: Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester
    March 7, 2024 | Helsingborg (Sweden) , Konserthus
  • Kammermusik Nr. 7
    Orchestra: New European Ensemble
    March 9, 2024 | Amsterdam (Netherlands) , Orgelpark
  • Kammermusik Nr. 1
    Conductor: Heinz Karl Gruber
    Orchestra: Ensemble Modern
    March 11, 2024 | Frankfurt/Main (Germany) , Alte Oper, Mozartsaal
  • Konzertmusik
    Conductor: Christer Bergby
    Orchestra: Borge Musikkorps
    March 15, 2024 | Trondheim (Norway) , Olavshallen
  • Nobilissima Visione
    Conductor: Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra: Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
    March 16, 2024 | Firenze (Italy) , Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Auditorium
  • Kammermusik Nr. 3
    Conductor: N.N.
    Orchestra: The Sinfonietta Miyoshi
    March 17, 2024 | Miyoshi (Japan) , Coppice
  • Nobilissima Visione
    Conductor: Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra: Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
    March 20, 2024 | Orvieto (Italy) , Teatro
  • Kammermusik Nr. 1
    Conductor: Arie Van Beek
    Orchestra: Orchestra ESMD de Lille
    March 22, 2024 | Lille (France) , Conservatoire, Auditorium
  • Drei Gesänge
    Conductor: Olari Elts
    Orchestra: Eesti Riiklik Sümfooniaorkester (Estonian National Symphony Orchestra)
    March 22, 2024 | Tallin (Estonia) , Estonia kontserdisaal
  • Kammermusik Nr. 1
    Conductor: Arie Van Beek
    Orchestra: Orchestra ESMD de Lille
    March 23, 2024 | Dunkerque (France) , Conservatoire, Auditorium Bizet
  • Symphonie "Die Harmonie der Welt"
    Conductor: Bar Avni
    Orchestra: Bayer-Philharmoniker
    March 23, 2024 | Leverkusen (Germany) , Erholungshaus
  • Kammermusik Nr. 1
    Conductor: Arie Van Beek
    Orchestra: Orchestra ESMD de Lille
    March 24, 2024 | Soissons (France) , Cité de la musique et de la danse
  • Symphonia Serena
    28th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival
    Conductor: Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra: Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester
    March 26, 2024 | Warszawa (Poland) , Filharmonia Narodowa — National Premiere
  • Sancta Susanna
    Conductor: Karsten Januschke
    Orchestra: Orchestr Státní opery Praha (Prague State Opera Orchestra)
    April 6, 2024 | Praha (Czech Republic) , Státní opera
  • Mathis der Maler
    Conductor: Roland Böer
    Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
    April 16, 2024 | Nürnberg (Germany) , Staatstheater, Großes Haus
  • Mathis der Maler
    Conductor: Roland Böer
    Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
    April 21, 2024 | Nürnberg (Germany) , Staatstheater, Großes Haus
  • Rag Time (wohltemperiert)
    Conductor: Simon Rattle
    Orchestra: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
    April 21, 2024 | Frankfurt/Main (Germany) , Alte Oper, Großer Saal
  • Rag Time (wohltemperiert)
    Conductor: Simon Rattle
    Orchestra: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
    April 22, 2024 | Köln (Germany) , Kölner Philharmonie
  • Konzertmusik
    Conductor: Joseph Bastian
    Orchestra: Gävle Symfoniorkester
    April 25, 2024 | Gävle (Sweden) , Konserthus
  • Konzertmusik
    Conductor: Chris Houlding
    Orchestra: Orchester der Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen
    April 27, 2024 | Essen (Germany) , Universität, Neue Aula
  • Set Descending Direction