RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
German composer, pianist and teacher Walter Braunfels was born in Frankfurt on 19 December 1882, and was first taught music by his mother, great-niece of Louis Spohr. Braunfels later studied piano with James Kwast at Dr Hoch's Koservatorium-Musikacademie, in Vienna with Theodor Leschetizky and in Munich with Felix Mottl and Ludwig Thuille.
He worked as a pianist for many years and was also co-founder and first director of the Hochschule für Musik Köln.
Between World Wars I and II, Braunfels became well-known as a composer, but during the Hitler period his music was marked as degenerate because he was half-Jewish, and his output was rather forgotten after his death on 19 March 1954, aged seventy-one, until his 1920 opera Die Vögel (based on Aristophanes' play The Birds) was revived in the 1990s.
CD Spotlight. A Unique Orchestral Mastery - Music by Walter Braunfels, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Gregor Bühl ... marshalls his forces with full-blooded conviction, and his orchestra responds brilliantly to Braunfels' luscious musical language ...'
Ensemble. Recovered Voices - Two operas in Los Angeles over the Easter weekend, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Distant Sound - LA Opera's 'Recovered Voices', reviewed by Maria Nockin