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Profile of Paul Hindemith



November 16, 1895


Hanau, Germany


December 28, 1963 in Frankfurt am Main due to pancreatitis.

Also Known As:

Paul Hindemith was a music theorist, teacher, string player and composer of the 20th century. He was concert master of the Frankfurt Opera House Orchestra from 1915 to 1923, professor of composition at Berlin's Academy of Music from 1927 to 1937, played the viola for the Amar-Hindemith Quartet and taught at Yale University from 1940 to 1955. Hindemith was also a leading advocate of Gebrauchsmusik or "utility music,"music that is meant to be performed by amateur or non professional musicians.

Type of Compositions:

Hindemith was a prolific composer; among his works are chamber music, operas, piano music, song cycles, ballets and orchestral music.


He started taking violin lessons with Eugen Reinhardt in 1902 and continued instructions under Anna Hegner in 1907. It was Hegner who made it possible for Hindemith to receive private instruction with Adolf Rebner. Hindemith proceeded to receive lessons with Rebner at Dr Hoch's Conservatory through a scholarship. His other teachers include Arnold Mendelssohn (composition) and Bernhard Sekles (composition).

Notable Works:

His works include: "Konzert in Es-Dur für Violoncello und Orchester op. 3," "Drei Stücke für Violoncello und Klavier op. 8," "Sancta Susanna (an opera)," "Das Marienleben op. 27," "Konzertmusik für Blasorchester op. 41," "Cardillac," "Neues vom Tage (an opera)," "Konzertmusik für Klavier, Blechbläser und Harfen op. 49," "Philharmonisches Konzert," "Theme with four Variations (a ballet)," "Symphonia Serena," "Concerto for Clarinet in A," "The Long Christmas Dinner" and the controversial opera "Mathis der Maler" which was banned by the Nazi party.

Interesting Facts:

Hindemith was married to Gertrud Rottenberg in 1924. He had a younger sister named Toni and a younger brother named Rudolf, all three were musically gifted and even performed together as the "Frankfurt Children's Trio" in 1910. Hindemith received honorary doctorates from the University of Frankfurt in 1949, the Free University of Berlin in 1950 and Oxford University in 1954.

Hindemith was one of the composers who were disliked by the Nazi party due to his associations with Jewish musicians. Other notable works include "Symphonic Metamorphoses After Themes by Carl Maria von Weber" and "Nobilissima visione."

Related Video:

Watch this YouTube video of Paul Hindemith conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

More Information:

More information on this composer is available at PaulHindemith.Org.

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