BORN 30 Apr 1870, Komorn (now Slovakia) - DIED 24 Oct 1948, Bad Ischl|
GRAVE LOCATION Bad Ischl, Oberösterreich: Friedhof
Franz Lehár was the son of a bandmaster in the Austo-Hungarian
army. He studied violion and composition at the Conservatory
in Prague. Antonín Dvorák advised him to concentrate on composing
and after he graduated in 1899 he worked as assistant bandmaster
for his father. In 1902 he became conductor at the Theater an
der Wien and in that same year his opera "Wiener Frauen" was
staged there. Also in 1902 he composed the song "Gold und Silber"
for a ball that was given by Pauline Metternich. His best known
work, the operetta "die Lustige Witwe" was first performed in
Lehár's operatta's made him famous and rich. From 1922 onwards he often collaborated with the singer Richard Tauber and he wrote six operetta's specifically for his voice. In 1935 he starten Glocken-Verlag, his own publishing house.
The libretto's for most of his opera's were written by Jews and his wife Sophie Paschkis was also Jewish. But Hitler liked Lehár's music and in 1938 his wife was made a honourary Aryan by marriage. The Lehárs gave Hitler a birthday present for his 50th birthday and his music was used for propaganda purposed in occupied Paris. In 1940 Hitler awarded him the Goethe-Medaille. Lehár tried to help his librettist Fritz Löhner-Beda, but Beda was killed in Auschwitz.
In 1947 he conducted the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich for a series of recordings of his opera's. He died the following year in Bas Ischl, where he had a villa.
cooperated with Tauber, Richard
Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973