Synopses & Reviews
This selection of letters by Paul Hindemith-the first such anthology to appear in English-fills out our portrait of the internationally acclaimed composer, performer, festival organizer, teacher, lecturer, and writer, and provides an absorbing chronicle of his life and times.
Paul Hindemith had a multifaceted career as an internationally acclaimed composer, performer, festival organizer, teacher, lecturer, and writer. Born in Germany in 1895, he was a leading member of the musical avant-garde, and when the Nazis came to power his compositions were eventually banned as "decadent art". In 1938 Hindemith went into voluntary exile in Switzerland and in 1940 emigrated to the United States, where he became a citizen. His return to Europe after the war in response to urgent calls for help in rebuilding European musical life gave rise to many emotional problems. This selection of letters written by Hindemith spans his entire career, from the First World War until shortly before his death in 1963. Translated and edited by a leading authority on Hindemith, the letters (some of which were written in English) reveal that he was an observant, engaging, and opinionated correspondent who took a keen interest in contemporary culture and politics. The first such selection to appear in English, the letters deal with personal and professional matters and are addressed to his wife, publishers, and friends in both Europe and America.