Lehár, Franz

BORN 30 Apr 1870, Komorn (now Slovakia) - DIED 24 Oct 1948, Bad Ischl, Oberösterreich
GRAVE LOCATION Bad Ischl, Oberösterreich: Friedhof, Grazer Strasse

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 1905.

Lehár's operettas made him famous and rich. From 1922 onwards he often collaborated with the singer Richard Tauber and he wrote six operettas specifically for his voice. In 1935 he starten Glocken-Verlag, his own publishing house.

The librettos for most of his operas 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 operas. He died the following year in Bas Ischl, where he had a villa.

Related persons
• cooperated with Léon, Victor
• has a connection with Loos, Lina
• was a friend of Puccini, Giacomo
• cooperated with Tauber, Richard

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. [Stolz, Robert][Willner, Alfred Maria]
21/2/1927First performance of Franz Lehár's operetta "Der Zarewitsch" in Berlin. The performance took place at the Deutsches Künstlertheater. [Tauber, Richard]


The grave of Franz Lehár at the cemetery in Bad Ischl.
Picture by Androom (24 Aug 2003)


The grave of Franz Lehár at the cemetery in Bad Ischl.
Picture by Androom (24 Aug 2003)


The Lehár villa in Bad Ischl.
Picture by Androom (24 Aug 2003)


• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973
Wikipedia (EN): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Leh%C3%A1r
Der Graf von Luxemburg (Operette) – Wikipedia

Lehmann, Lilli

Published: 30 May 2010
Last update: 01 Jan 2023