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Born: 1900, Dessau, GermanyDied: 1950, New York City

"I have never acknowledged the difference between serious music and light music. There is only good music and bad music."

The son of a cantor, Kurt Weill was actively composing and performing by his mid-teens. He studied with Engelbert Humperdinck and Ferruccio Busoni, grew up in the German theater system, and took students of his own, among them Claudio Arrau and Maurice Abravanel. He had some success with instrumental concert works, but was best known for his theater projects, including The Threepenny Opera. He fled Nazi Germany in 1933, ultimately settling in New York. His theater experience and instincts served him well in the U.S., where he wrote Knickerbocker Holiday, Lady in the Dark, One Touch of Venus, Street Scene, and Lost in the Stars, among others.

Further listening:Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1928)

Jane Henschel, Measha Brueggergosman, et al.;

Madrid Teatro Real, Pablo Heras-Casado

(Bel Air Classiques; DVD & Blu-ray)

Symphony No. 2 (1933)

L’Orchestre Métropolitain, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

(Atma Classique)