March 2, 1900
April 3, 1950 in New York, N.Y., U.S.A.
Also Known As:
Kurt Julian Weill was a German composer of the 20th century known for his collaborations with writer Bertolt Brecht. The Weill/Bertolt collaboration produced a new type of opera using caustic wit to address social follies of their time. As a result, his works were later banned in Germany until after the second World War.
Type of Compositions:
Weill pursued his studies privately with Albert Bing and briefly studied with Engelbert Humperdinck at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. He also studied under the Italian/German composer and concert pianist, Ferruccio Busoni. Weill moved to France in the early 1930s and in 1935, moved to the U.S.A. where he would continue his work and settle permanently.
His major works include "Der Protagonist," "Royal Palace," "Mahagonny," "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny," "Die Dreigroschenoper" ("The Threepenny Opera," a modern transposition of John Gay’s "The Beggar’s Opera"), "Der Jasager," "Der Lindberghflug," "Die Bürgschaft," "Knickerbocker Holiday," "Lady in the Dark" (libretto by Ira Gershwin and Moss Hart), "One Touch of Venus," "Street Scene," "Lost in the Stars," “Berliner Sinfonie" and "Pariser Symphonie."
In 1926, Kurt Weill married Lotte Lenya, a singer/actress. Lotte sang in "Mahagonny" and played the role of Jenny in "Die Dreigroschenoper." The song "The Ballad of Mack the Knife" from "Die Dreigroschenoper" and "September Song" from "Knickerbocker Holiday" became huge hits.
Listen to Lotte Lenya, singing "Mack the Knife" from Kurt Weill's opera "Die Dreigroschenoper" courtesy of YouTube.