Hans Krása

Czech-German composer (Prague, 1899- Auschwitz, 1944)

Hans Krása is now known for his famous children's opera Brundibar, which would become a symbol of hope in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

Gifted with musical talents, Hans Krása attended both piano and violin lessons at an early age. After studying composition at the German Music Academy in Prague with conductor and composer Alexander von Zemlinsky, he became an instructor at the Neues Deutsches Theater.

Fascinated by French modernists such as Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky, he left for France where he studied composition with Albert Roussel. His music was influenced by Mendelssohn, Schumann but also Liszt, Mahler and Schoenberg.

Three landmark dates in the life of Hans Krása

1920: Studied composition with Alexander von Zemlinsky

1942: Deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto

1943: First performance of Brundibar in Terezin for the filming of a Nazi propaganda film: "The Führer offers a city to the Jews".

Six key works by Hans Krása

1921: 4 Orchesterlieder - op. 1

1923: Symphonie für kleines Orchester

1924: String Quartet op. 2

1928-1930: Verlobung im Traum (Betrothal in a Dream), opera in 2 acts

1936: Kammermusik - for harpsichord and seven instruments

1938: Brundibar, children's opera written for a Ministry of Education and a Popular Education competition.