Stolz, Robert

BORN 25 Aug 1880, Graz, Steiermark - DIED 27 Jun 1975, Berlin
BIRTH NAME Stolz, Robert Elisabeth
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Simmering (Gruppe 32 C, Nummer 24)

Robert Stolz was born in Graz as the son of the composer and musical director Jakob Stolz (1832-1919) and his wife, the pianist Ida Stolz born Bondy (1841-1903). He studied in Graz, Berlin and Vienna. In 1896 he passed the Austrian state examination for music. He worked as an opera accompanist before he became musical director in Marburg an der Drau and at the City Theatre in Salzburg. There his operetta "Schön Lorchen" was performed on 3 March 1903. After an engagement in Brno he was the musical director of the Theater an der Wien from 1907 to 1917. In 1904 he married the singer Grete Holm (1884-1941). On 12 November 1909 he conducted the premiere of Lehár's operetta "Der Graf von Luxemburg". He divorced Grete in 1912.

During the First World War he served as bandmaster in the army. In 1920 he married another singer, Franzi Ressel (1892-1968). Soon afterwards she left him and she started an affair with Otto Hein, whom she married in 1923. Before the end of 1924 his third marriage with the soubrette Josephine Zernitz had ended in divorce as well. An attempt to start his own theatre failed as well he went to Berlin in 1924, where the premiere of "Märchen im Schnee" took place in 1925. In 1926 he returned to Vienna and in that year he married his fourth wife Lilly Karner (born circa 1899). He continued to write operettas and he also created music for films.

After 1933 he helped to escape many Jews from Germany to Austria by hiding them in the back of his limousine. After Austria was annexed by Germany he emigrated to New York. There he was nominated for an Oscar for his music for "It Happened Tomorrow" (1944). His first wife Grete had disappeared in 1941 and was probably murdered by the nazis. In 1942 he lost his German citizenship and his posessions were confiscated. Lilli left him and they divorced. Einzi Ulrich (b.1912) became his fifth and last wife in 1946 in Reno, Nevada. She acted as his manager as well.

He returned to Vienna in 1946 and he went on to create 19 ice operettas. He also continued his work as a conductor. He died in 1975 in Berlin. Einzi died in 2004 and was buried with him at the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna.

• Father: Stolz, Jakob
• Mother: Stolz, Ida

12/11/1909Premiere of Lehár's "Der Graf von Luxemburg" at the Theater an der Wien. The libretto was written by Robert Bodanzky und Alfred Maria Willner. Robert Stolz was the conductor. It was an immediate success and the operetta was performed 300 times at the Theater an der Wien. [Lehár, Franz][Willner, Alfred Maria]


The grave of Robert Stolz at the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (23 Aug 2009)


Plaque at the house in Vienna where Robert Stolz lived and worked.
Picture by Androom (24 Aug 2012)


Der Graf von Luxemburg (Operette) – Wikipedia
Robert Stolz – Wikipedia
Deutsche Biographie - Stolz, Robert
Stolz, Familie Jacob:

Stolz, Teresa

Published: 07 Mar 2024
Last update: 10 Mar 2024