Kurt Weill Composer


Born in Dassau in 1900, Kurt Weill was the son of the town's synagogue cantor. A disciple of Pfitzner and pupil of Albart Bing, he moved to Berlin at the age of 18, where he studied with Humperdinck, then a fervent Wagnerian, Busoni and Jarnach. Kurt Weill composed pieces on the borderline between neoclassicism and the influences of Shönberg. After the First World War, German artists rethought the performing arts in a new relationship with current events.

Driven by the ambition to revolutionize contemporary opera, Weill met Bertolt Brecht, one of the creators of contemporary dramaturgy, also driven by the ambition to renew theatrical writing. Brecht, who had long sought to integrate music into his theatrical language, proposed several collaborations to Kurt Weill that were to become the most successful plays of the interwar period, such as L'Opéra de quat'sous (1928) and Grandeur et décadence de la ville de Mahagonny (1930).

With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Kurt Weill emigrated first to France, then to the United States, where he became an American citizen in 1943. It was on Broadway that he composed some of his greatest hits: Lady in the Dark (1941), One Touch of Venus (1943) and Street Scene (1947).  

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