Paul Hindemith (November 16, 1895 - December 28, 1963)
Born: 16th November, 1895
Died: 28th December, 1963
Nationality: German
Profession/Occupation: Musician
Region: Hanau, Germany, Frankfurt am Main
Notable works: "Cardillac", "Mathis der Maler", "Kammermusik", "Die junge Magd"

Paul Hindemith Facts

Biography

Paul Hindemith, (born November 16, 1895, Hanau, near Frankfurt am Main, Germany--died December 28, 1963, Frankfurt am Main), one of the principal German composers of the first half of the 20th century and a leading musical theorist. He sought to revitalize tonality--the traditional harmonic system that was being challenged by many other composers--and also pioneered in the writing of Gebrauchsmusik, or "utility music," compositions for everyday occasions. He regarded the composer as a craftsman (turning out music to meet social needs) rather than as an artist (composing to satisfy his own soul). As a teacher of composition he probably exerted an influence on most of the composers of the generation that followed him.

Hindemith earned his living at an early age playing the violin in cafes, dance bands, and theatres. His undertaking of almost any kind of musical job may have contributed to the facility and matter-of-factness with which he later composed. Studying music in Frankfurt, at 20 he became leader of the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra.

Meanwhile, his own compositions were being heard at international festivals of contemporary music. Early works included chamber music composed for the Amar-Hindemith Quartet, in which he played the viola; the song cycles Die junge Magd (1922; "The Young Maid"), based on poems by Georg Trakl, and Das Marienleben (1924, rev. 1948; "The Life of Mary"); and the opera Cardillac (1926), based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's Das Fraulein von Scuderi ("The Girl from Scuderi"). By the late 1920s Hindemith was regarded as the foremost German composer of his generation.

The "utility" music he wrote for children's games, youth groups, brass bands, radio plays, and other practical purposes reflected a functional trend in the culture of postwar Germany. Hindemith collaborated with Kurt Weill on the music for a radio cantata by Bertolt Brecht, Der Lindberghflug (1928; "The Lindbergh Flight").

His greatest work, Mathis der Maler, an opera about the painter Matthias Grunewald and his struggles with society, caused a public imbroglio in Nazi Germany when Wilhelm Furtwangler conducted an orchestral version with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1934 and vigorously supported the opera in the press. The Nazi cultural authorities, led by Joseph Goebbels (minister of propaganda), banned the opera, denouncing the composer as a "cultural Bolshevist" and "spiritual non-Aryan."

Hindemith, who had been professor of composition at the Berlin Academy of Music since 1927, left Germany for Turkey, where he set up a music education system on Western lines and taught at the conservatory in Ankara (1935-37). Later he taught at Yale University (1940-53) and at the University of Zurich (1951-58).

His early music was considered anti-Romantic and iconoclastic, but it also showed humour, exuberance, and inventiveness. His Kammermusik series--for small, unconventional, astringent groups of instruments--is outstanding. He also produced such works as the Violin Concerto (1939), the Cello Concerto (1940), the Symphonic Metamorphoses After Themes by Carl Maria von Weber (1946), and the operas Die Harmonie der Welt (1957; "The Harmony of the World") and The Long Christmas Dinner (1961).

An opponent of the 12-tone school of composer Arnold Schoenberg, Hindemith formulated the principles of a harmonic system that was based on an enlargement of traditional tonality. His Unterweisung im Tonsatz (1937-39; The Craft of Musical Composition, 1941, rev. 1945) constitutes a theoretical statement of his principles.

Paul Hindemith essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Paul Hindemith Sonata For Flute And Piano Film Studies Essay
J. S. Bach: Sonata in G minor, for flute and obbligato harpsichord. Inside a famous remark about J. S. Bach, Beethoven said 'he should be named Sea instead of Bach, because of his infinite, inexhaustible wealth in shade combinations and harmonies'. These virtues are also deployed in his flute sonatas, each with a unique melodic contour and figure. Bach was often criticized for being abstruse and redundantly complex, but he was able to show through his work that he was, and would continue to be, a great pioneer. The special importance of his chamber music, in which he exhibited a deep understanding..
Subscribe to our updates
79 345 subscribers already with us

Related authors

John le Carre
John le Carre
John le Carre, pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell, (born October 19, 1931, Poole, Dorset, England),..
Erik Erikson
Erik Erikson
Erik Erikson, in full Erik Homburger Erikson, also called Erik H. Erikson, (born June 15, 1902, Frankfurt..
Vaclav Havel
Vaclav Havel
Vaclav Havel, (born October 5, 1936, Prague, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]--died December..
Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes, in full Robert Studley Forrest Hughes, (born July 28, 1938, Sydney, Australia--died..
Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf, in full Hugo Philipp Jakob Wolf, (born March 13, 1860, Windischgraz, Austria [now Slovenj..
Albert Robida
Albert Robida
Albert Robida, (born May 14, 1848, Compiegne, France--died Oct. 11, 1926, Neuilly), early pioneer..
Richard Adams
Richard Adams
Richard Adams, in full Richard George Adams, (born May 9, 1920, Wash Common, Berkshire [now West..
Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe, in full Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, (born November 16, 1930, Ogidi, Nigeria--died..
James Anthony Froude
James Anthony Froude
James Anthony Froude, (born April 23, 1818, Dartington, Devon, Eng.--died Oct. 20, 1894, Kingsbridge,..
Leslie Richard Groves
Leslie Richard Groves
Leslie Richard Groves, (born August 17, 1896, Albany, New York, U.S.--died July 13, 1970, Washington,..
Tomas Transtromer
Tomas Transtromer
Tomas Transtromer, (born April 15, 1931, Stockholm, Sweden--died March 26, 2015, Stockholm),..
Gil Kane
Gil Kane
Gil Kane , pseudonym of Eli Katz, (born April 6, 1926, Riga, Latvia--died Jan. 31, 2000, Miami, Fla.,..
Camille Saint-Saens
Camille Saint-Saens
Camille Saint-Saens, in full Charles-Camille Saint-Saens, (born October 9, 1835, Paris, France--died..
Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith, originally Sadie Smith, (born October 27, 1975, London, England), British author..
William Goldman
William Goldman
William Goldman, (born August 12, 1931, Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.--died November 16, 2018,..
Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly, pseudonym of Elizabeth Cochrane, also spelled Cochran, (born May 5, 1864, Cochran's..
Francis Beaumont
Francis Beaumont
Francis Beaumont, (born c. 1585, Grace-Dieu, Leicestershire, England--died March 6, 1616, London),..
Andrey Andreyevich Voznesensky
Andrey Andreyevich Voznesensky
Andrey Andreyevich Voznesensky, (born May 12, 1933, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.--died June 1, 2010,..
G.K. Chesterton
G.K. Chesterton
G.K. Chesterton, in full Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (born May 29, 1874, London, England--died June..
Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard, in full Athol Harold Lannigan Fugard, (born June 11, 1932, Middelburg, South Africa),..