German conductor and composer Hans Zender was born in Wiesbaden on 22 November 1936. At thirteen he listened to concerts at Wiesbaden's Maifestspiele, and from 1949 he attended the Darmstädter Ferienkurse annually, becoming familiar with much new music.
He studied piano, composition and conducting in Frankfurt and Freiburg, then took a series of high profile kapellmeister, principal conductor and generalmusikdirektor jobs. He also taught composition in Frankfurt.
He wrote much vocal music, music for orchestra, pieces for tape and live electronics, and three operas: Stephen Climax (using his own libretto based on James Joyce and Hugo Ball), Don Quijote de la Mancha and Chief Joseph (based on the leader of a native American tribe in the Pacific north-west).
Hans Zender died on 22 October 2019 in Meersburg, aged eighty-two.