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Gustav Lewin

Posted by: In: Composers 31 Oct 2012 Comments: 0 Tags:


Composer Gustav Lewin (1869 – 1938) started early as a conductor and pianist in many opera houses all over Germany.

19 years old  he married a singer from Weimar and wanted to settle down there with her. For many  years, he then taught at the University of Music in Weimar, Germany. He became one of their most important teachers, and in 1922 he was appointed musical director.

His songs were very popular and helped him support himself until they were banned along with all other works of jews. Lewin lost everything when the nazis took over, starting with his work in 1934. This was the start of very difficult years, where the merchants would stop delivering his heating material and former colleagues would write things like: “I’m not even sure I can call subjects of Lewin’s  kind human” (Composer Richard Wetz ).

One fall day in 1938 he greeted a former student of his on the street. This led to Lewin being screamed at “we don’t want to be greeted by jews”.  Lewin went home to his cold apartement, stopped eating and drinking and died on the 17th of October.

All you need is three bars of a children’s lullaby to hear what a magnificent musician he was. Knowing his fate breaks my heart when I hear his beautiful songs.

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