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Kurt Weill

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Victoria Edwards

on 18 December 2012

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Transcript of Kurt Weill

Kurt Weill Childhood Survival of World War II World War 1 started before Weill could get farther ahead in his studies. During the war he was hired as a subsitute accompanist at the Dessau Court Theatre in 1919. This was the only opportunity he had to compose and play music until the war was over, because he had to leave his career to stay out of the battle zones during the war. World War 1 In 1920, Weill was interviewed by Ferruccio Busoni, a teacher in the highest forms of music. After reviewing Weill's works up until that year from his childhood, Busoni accepted him into a musical education as one of five master students in composition. He recieved the best of knowledge from Busoni, and was viewed as a prodigy among the students because of his ability to compose so intricately. Master Student In 1922, Kurt Weill joined a group called "Novembergruppe", a group of leftist Berlin artists that included Hanns Eisler and Stefan Wolpe, other popular musicians of the time. Lotte Lenya, an aspiring actress, was introduced to Weill in 1924, and they married in 1926 and 1937 (as they divorced in 1933.) Lenya was very supportive of Weill and continued to inspire others to follow him after his death. She also created the Kurt Weill Foundation. Novembergruppe Being a popular musician and well loved by the public didn't stop Hitler. Weill fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and his musical "A Threepenny Opera" was published on April 13th of the same year. Because he was Jewish, the Nazi government seemed intent on removing him from the world. His later performances were further interrupted by the soldiers who criticized and interrupted his attempts at ignoring the growing idea of being inferior if you had Jewish ancestry. Finally he left for Paris where he worked on a ballet called "The Seven Deadly Sins." Kurt Weill was born on March 2, 1900
to Jewish parents where he was raised in "Sandvorstadt", the Jewish quarter in Dessau, Germany. At age twelve, he started piano and his earliest composition was written and published in 1913. It was called "Mi Addir. A Jewish Wedding Song." Studies and Performances in Berlin Weill enrolled at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, but found the conservative training and the infrequent lessons with Engelbert Humperdinc too intense. He became the conductor of a small municipal theatre and began to tutor students in music theory from 1923 to 1925. London, England Weill's operetta "Der Kuhhandel" (A Kingdom for a Cow) was soon noticed by Britain. He moved there for a short while to perform in 1935. Later that year, he moved to the United States for "The Eternal Road", an anti-Nazi musical by Franz Werfel in which famous musicians, preferably Jewish, were needed as actors. New York, U.S.A. Kurt Weill and his wife moved to New York City on September 10, 1935. Many of his works continued to be seen in the American musical industry which was gradually growing and improving. Most Famous Pieces Kurt Weill had many popular pieces, most of which gained recognition in his later life. Apart from "Mack the Knife" and "Pirate Jenny" from The Threepenny Opera, his most famous songs include "Alabama Song" (from Mahagonny, published in 1927), "Surabaya Johnny" (from Happy End), "Speak Low" (from One Touch of Venus), "Lost in the Stars" (from the musical of that name), "My Ship" (from Lady in the Dark), and "September Song" (from Knickerbocker Holiday). He made many musicals, and that's where many of his famous songs come from. He was recognized as a prodigy in early life and continued to write music until his death in 1950. He was a Jewish German composer. Lasting Legacy Kurt Weill continued to write music until his death. In 1945, "Where Do We Go From Here?", an American musical, was published to great reviews about Weill's music. However, his 1948 "Down in the Valley" musical was re-enacted in thousands of pageants, schools, and theatres throughout the entire nation. His last creations, a musical version of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and an opera to include Lawrence Tibbett, an aspiring baritone, were cut short when Weill suffered a heart attack soon after his fiftieth birthday. He was mourned by everyone who had a love for music. He was remembered as "the most original single workman in the whole musical theater, internationally considered, during the last quarter century... Every work was a new model, a new shape, a new solution to dramatic problems." ~Virgil Thomson
He died on April 3, 1950, but his music still lives on today. Works Cited Wikipedia:
David Drew. Kurt Weill: A Handbook (Berkeley, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1987). ISBN 0-520-05839-9.
Kim H. Kowalke. A New Orpheus: Essays on Kurt Weill (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1986). ISBN 0-300-03514-4.
Ronald Sanders. The Days Grow Short: The Life and Music of Kurt Weill (New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980). ISBN 0-03-019411-3.
Donald Spoto. Lenya A Life (Little, Brown and Company 1989)
Lenya, Lotte. The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. Lotte Lenya, 1962. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <http://kwf.org/kurt-weill>
Lenya, Lotte. The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. Lotte Lenya, 1962. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <http://kwf.org/>
Anonymous. Kurt Weill - Symphony No. 1 (1/2) "Berliner Sinfonie" . Anonymous, 2010. Web. 16 Dec. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yt86zdP7YY> By Victoria Edwards
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