Paul DESSAU (1894-1979)



Name: Paul DESSAU
Occupation: Composer, Musician and Conductor
Birth: Born 19 December 1894 in Hamburg, Germany
Death: Died 28 June 1979 in Königs Wusterhausen, Dahme-Spreewald, Brandenburg, Germany
Note (shared): Paul Dessau was born in Hamburg into a musical family. His grandfather, Moses Berend Dessau, was a cantor, his uncle, Bernhard Dessau, a violinist at the Royal Opera House, Unter den Linden, and his cousin Max Winterfeld became generally known under the name Jean Gilbert as a composer of operettas.

From 1909 he majored in violin at the Klindworth-Scharwenka-Conservatory in Berlin. In 1912 he became répétiteur at the City Theatre (Stadttheater) in Hamburg. There he studied the works of the composers Felix von Weingartner and Arthur Nikisch and took classes in composition from Max Julius Loewengard. He was second Kapellmeister at the Tivoli Theatre in Bremen in 1914 before being drafted for military service in 1915.

After World War I he became conductor at the Intimate Theatre (Kammerspiele), Hamburg, and was répétiteur and later Kapellmeister at the opera house in Cologne under Otto Klemperer between 1919 and 1923. In 1923 he became Kapellmeister in Mainz and from 1925 Principal Kapellmeister at the Städtische Oper Berlin under Bruno Walter.

In 1933 Dessau emigrated to FRA, and 1939 moved further to the USA where initially he lived in New York before moving to Hollywood. Dessau returned to DEU with his second wife, the writer Elisabeth Hauptmann, and settled in East Berlin in 1948.

Starting in 1952 he taught at the Public Drama School (Staatliche Schauspielschule) in Berlin-Oberschöneweide where he was appointed to a professorship in 1959. He became a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Künste Berlin in 1952 and was vice-president of this institution between 1957 and 1962. He taught many Meisterschüler (pupils in a master class), including Friedrich Goldmann, Reiner Bredemeyer, Jörg Herchet, Hans-Karsten Raecke, Friedrich Schenker, Luca Lombardi and Karl Ottomar Treibmann.

From 1954 he was married to the choreographer and director Ruth Berghaus. Their son Maxim Dessau (b. 1954) studied at the College of Film and Television (Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen) in Potsdam-Babelsberg. He is now a movie director.

Dessau composed operas, scenic plays, incidental music, ballets, symphonies and other works for orchestra, and pieces for solo instruments as well as vocal music. Since the 1920s he had been fascinated by film music. Among others he wrote compositions for early movies of Walt Disney, background music for silent pictures and early German films. While in exile in Paris he wrote the oratorio Hagadah shel Pessach after a libretto by Max Brod. In the 1950s in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht he focussed on the musical theatre. During that time his operas were produced. He also wrote Gebrauchsmusik (utility music) for the propaganda of the German Democratic Republic. At the same time he lobbied for the musical avant-garde (e.g. Witold Lutosławski, Alfred Schnittke, Boris Blacher, Hans Werner Henze and Luigi Nono).

*Award of the music publisher Schott 1925
*National Prize III. Category 1953
*National Prize II. Category 1956
*National Prize I. Category 1965
*Vaterländischer Verdienstorden (''Decoration of Honour for Services to the GDR) in Gold 1965
*Karl-Marx-Orden (Karl-Marx-Decoration) 1969
*National Prize I. Category 1974

Dessau died on 28 June 1979 at the age of 84, in the then East German city of Königs Wusterhausen, on the outskirts of Berlin.

There is a Paul Dessau Strasse in Hamburg and in Berlin.

Paul Dessau was a famous musician and composer. When he was a young man his parents sent him to Paris to study. During World War II he was able to come to Santa Monica, California, where he worked for the film industry. However, after the war, during the McCarthy era, Dessau had trouble getting work in Los Angeles because of his Communist/Socialist beliefs. In his youth he had been friends with Ulbricht in the Communist Youth Brigade in Germany. Ulbricht became the prime minister of East Germany, and invited Dessau to return to Germany as a man with privilege. Dessau returned, became the director of the Berliner Ensemble, and composed numerous operettas which are still performed in Germany. He also collaborated with Berthold Brecht in writing operettas. when Norman Kulla and Katherine Mader visited Germany in the 1970's they met Dessau in East Berlin. He had complete privileges, which were very unusual, to go to West Berlin to shop. In the west he would buy all of his and his families toiletries and music albums. When he met Norman and Kathy he was driving a new Mercedes and wearing a velvet suit. After meeting in the west, and shopping in a drug store, Dessau took some toiletries and put them in his pocket without paying for them. When queried by Norman, he smilingly muttered anti-capitalistic slogans. Thus were the ways of an "artiste".

Individual Events and Attributes

Immigration 1933 (age 38-39) to Herblay, Val-d'Oise, Île-de-France, France
Immigration 1939 (age 44-45) to New York, USA
Residence 1 Apr 1940 (age 45) New York, USA
Marital Status: Divorced; Relation to Head of House: Partner
Residence 1942 (age 47-48) New York, USA
Address: 344 West 84th Street

See draft card
Residence 1943 (age 48-49) Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
Residence 27 Apr 1945 (age 50) California, USA
Residence 1948 (age 53-54) Germany
Burial 1979 Mitte, Berlin, Germany
Address: Dorotheenstadtischer Cemetery

Bernhard DESSAU (1861-1923)


Bernhard Berend Moses DESSAU

Name: Bernhard Berend Moses DESSAU
Occupation: Violinist, Composer and Concert Master
Birth: Born 1 March 1861 in Hamburg, Germany
Death: Died 28 April 1923 in Charlottenburg, Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Note (shared): Studied under Schradieck (Hamburg and Leipzig), Joachim and Wieniawski (Berlin). Gave Paul Dessau his first violin when age 6. One of his old violins sold for £70-90k at Sotherbys (Nicola Gagliano Filius Alexandri fecit. Neap. 1738). Taught Marlene Dietrich Piano and Violin. Taught others also in Rotterdam. One of the three leaders of the Berlin Royal Orchestra. Member of famous trio: Heinrich Grünfeld (cello), Bernhard Dessau (violin), Moritz Mayer-Mahr (piano).Possible derivation Dessoux.

Bis 1918 besucht Marlene Dietrich die Auguste-Victoria-Schule in Charlottenburg und macht dort das Abitur. Neben der Schule erlernt sie das Violinspiel bei Professor Dessau.

Schiller-Theater Charlottenburg
30 January 1921: Sonntag-Mittags-Konzerte. Zweites Konzert, given by a string quartet of Waldemar Lütschg, Bernhard Dessau, Robert Könecke and Fritz Becker, with Claire Huth (vocal), accompanied by Max von Schillings [42]

Individual Events and Attributes

Residence 1920 (age 58-59) Charlottenburg, Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Address: Bleibtreustrasse 41

Tel: Steinplatz 4025
Residence 1923 (age 61-62) Charlottenburg, Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Address: Bleibtreustrasse 41

Tel: Steinplatz 8830
Tel: Bismarck 4318
Address: Bismark (35 49)
Residence 1924 (age 62-63) Berlin, Germany

Max WINTERFELD (1879-1942)



Occupation: Composer, Musician and Conductor
Birth: Born 11 February 1879 in Hamburg, Germany
Death: Died 21 December 1942 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Note (shared): Max Winterfeld was a German operetta composer and conductor. He adopted the name of Jean Gilbert for the production of his first operetta in 1901.

He composed more than 50 operettas before and after World War I, working mainly in Berlin. His most successful work was Die keusche Susanne (1910).

Individual Events and Attributes

Residence 1927 (age 47-48) Berlin, Germany
Marital Status: verheiratet
Residence 27 Jun 1928 (age 49) Germany
Immigration btw 1933 and 1936 (age 53-57) to Wien, Austria
Immigration 1936 (age 56-57) to Spain
Immigration 1937 (age 57-58) to Paris, Île-de-France, France
Immigration 1938 (age 58-59) to London, England
Immigration 1939 (age 59-60) to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Residence 20 Dec 1942 (age 63) Buenos Aires, Argentina
Address: 76 Calle Moreto
Probate 20 Jul 1944 Llandudno, Caernarvonshire, Wales
To Eva Steve Winterfeld spinster £528 5s 3d

Robert MULLER-HARTMANN (1884-1950)



Name: Robert Gerson MULLER-HARTMANN
Occupation: Teacher
Birth: Born 11 October 1884 in Hamburg, Germany
Death: Died 15 December 1950 in Dorking, Surrey, England
Note (shared): After the outbreak of war in September of 1939 the British government became very concerned with identifying enemy aliens. Robert Müller-Hartmann had only just begun trying to build a new life in England, but by May of 1940 the political climate was such that a policy of mass internment of Jewish refugees was begun and Churchill ordered, Collar the lot. In what must have been a horrendous and unimaginable time for his family and friends, he was forced to leave Dorking, sent by boat and interned in a camp on the Isle of Man with thousands of others. Müller-Hartmann was released from the camp on the Isle of Man in the autumn of 1940.

The 1934 Hamburg directory listing for their residence was Tonküstler, GBorst, Wolterst 32.

Robert and Lisbeth Müller-Hartmann arrived in London in 1937, jobless and with little money. They first lived at 7 Durweston Mews, near Crawford Street, but within a short time they too made the move to Dorking and lived with the Hornsteins at a house on Ladygate Road with the Welsh-derived name Craigelly.

In later years Müller-Hartmann also kept an address in London, 68B Belsize Park Gardens (1939-1950s directories).

Robert Müller-Hartmann was a kind, polite and truly gentle man. He had an excellent command of the English language, but like his wife, of course, he spoke with a heavy German accent. Having an innate ability to distinguish subtleties in musical tones, others sometimes found it humorous that he had difficulty choosing between words that sounded similar, e.g. than and then, when conversing in English. He was very literate and read voraciously; Charles Dickens was his favourite author. A lover of opera, he also loved teaching people about opera while playing arias on the piano. Perhaps, in common with almost all other exiled Jewish musicians, he seemed somewhat embittered that circumstances prevented him from being perceived as more successful.

http://dearmuller-hartmann.com/DearMuller-Hartmann/SKW.htmlSettled in Eng., 1933, becoming a close friend of Vaughan Williams, whose The Pilgrim's Progress he partially translated into German. Vaughan Williams, Imogen Holst (sole daughter of Gustav Holst) and Genia Hornstein helped him find work and establish a new life in a foreign land. Robert Müller-Hartmann was a significant composer in his own right. His works included Sym. (1927), ov., Leonce and Lena (1922), Variations on a Pastoral Theme (1925), Sinfonietta (1943), Craigelly Suite (1944), chamber music, pf. pieces, and songs.

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote these letters to fellow composer Robert Müller-Hartmann between 1938-1950. The two were first introduced by mutual friends Imogen Holst and Genia Hornstein through associations with the Bloomsbury House in London and the Dorking & District Refugee Committee. Müller-Hartmann was a Jewish German refugee who fled with his family to England in 1937 to escape Nazi oppression.

Over the next twelve years he and Vaughan Williams developed a strong friendship and Müller-Hartmann became an important collaborator with Vaughan Williams. The last project they worked on together was the German translation of Vaughan Williams's life-long creative dream, his opera The Pilgrim's Progress.

The letters give a rare glimpse into Vaughan Williams's thoughts during these important times in his later years. Robert Müller-Hartmann was a significant composer in his own right but certainly remains under-recognized.

In early 1950, while Müller-Hartmann was working on the German translation of The Pilgrim's Progress, the three Müller-Hartmanns moved to their own home in Dorking on St. Paul's Road called West Dene, a short walking distance from Craigelly. Only months after moving to West Dene, at a relatively young age, Robert Müller-Hartmann died suddenly from a cerebral haemorrhage on December 15, 1950. The funeral was in Dorking and his friend Yanya Hornstein gave the eulogy.13 Vaughan Williams was extremely saddened and deeply affected by the death of his fellow composer and close friend, a relationship formed late in his life, and he would miss his ideas, his opinions and their regular talks. Undoubtedly his loss evoked emotions akin to those he felt in 1934 after the death of Gustav Holst.

Individual Events and Attributes

Immigration 1937 (age 52-53) to London, England
Residence Dorking, Surrey, England
Address: Westdene, St Paul's Road
Probate 3 Apr 1951 Dorking, Surrey, England
Address: Westdene, St Paul's Road

To Elisabeth £461 13s 5d

Joseph MULLER (c. 1761-1843)



Name: Joseph MULLER
Birth: Born circa 1761 in Lauterbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
Death: Died 1843 in Hamburg, Germany
Note (shared): Changed name to Muller 29 Oct 1808.

SOME SAY THAT Josef came from (Mulhausen) Elsace (or Alsace) where he owned a mill and was a (appointed ) grain supplier to Napoleon I. He was a very well-to-do man. But unfortunately everything was lost again. After the fall of the emperor he had to flee. He emigrated with his wife, who is presumed to have been Dutch, and his four sons, first to Danzig. Later they moved to Hamburg and there assumed the name Muller. Joseph's brother who remained in France called themselves Dreyfuss. Possibly a niece of Joseph is Rachel Feliz, France's greatest tragic actress who lived in the years 1828-1858.

Many years ago Bengt's grand aunt Sonja Bresky (Harryet and my grandmother Edith's youngest sister) declared the following sentence to her niece who wrote it down. I copied the sentence and in English translation it is says: "A Dreyfus fled disguised as a farmer in a double bonded carriage where his two sons were hidden."

He had 3-4 brothers one of whom may have been General Dreyfus. His niece was related to Napoleon Bonapart.

Joseph's brothers went to Paris and called themselves "Dreyfus". They formed the Dreyfus Company which developed into a world-wide bank and grain trade.

A niece of Joseph, Elisa Rachel Felix (1820-1858) was supposedly the greatest tragic actress France ever produced. She used to enchant to royal family near Berlin, and King Frederick William IV had a marble statue erected in her memory. Felix's father was a poor Jewish pedlar going from country fair to country fair. He had a huge brood of children. Rachel stood on the bridge across the Seine and was noticed by the director of the Comedie Francais, and that's how she became famous. She had a lifelong affair with the nephew of Napoleon, and had four children with him. They could not marry because she was Jewish.

The famous philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (grandfather of the composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy) was married to one of Joseph's nieces.

Individual Events and Attributes

Residence 29 Oct 1808 (age 46-47) Wissembourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France

Moses DESSAU (c. 1765-c. 1820)

Name: Moses Beer DESSAU
Birth: Born circa 1765 in Hamburg, Germany
Death: Died circa 1820 in Hamburg, Germany

Individual Events and Attributes

<no record notes>

© 2015 Business Programme Management Ltd