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Burkhard, Paul

Burkhard, Paul

Burkhard, Paul, Swiss conductor and composer; b. Zurich, Dec. 21, 1911; d. Zell, Sept. 6, 1977. He was trained at the Zurich Cons. After working at the Bern City Theater (1932–34), he was resident composer at the Zürich Theater (1939–44). From 1944 to 1957 he conducted the Zurich Radio Orch. As a composer, he was successful mainly with light theater pieces. His Der schwarze Hecht (Zürich, April 1, 1939) was partially reworked by Erik Charell as Feuerwerk (Munich, May 16, 1950), and became internationally known via its song, O, mein Papa. Among his other theater pieces were Hopsa (Zürich, Nov. 30, 1935; rev. version, Wiesbaden, Oct. 12, 1957), Dreimal Georges (Zurich, Oct. 3, 1936), Die Frauen von Coraya or Der Paradies der Frauen (Stettin, Feb. 19, 1938), Casanova in der Schweiz (Zurich, 1942), Tic-Tac (1942), Die Pariserin (1946; Zürich, Dec. 31, 1957), Die kleine Niederdorfoper (Zurich, Dec. 31, 1951), Bunbury (1963; Basel, Oct. 7, 1965), Die Schneekönigin (Zurich, 1964) and Regenbogen (Basel, Nov. 30, 1977). He also wrote various works for young people, including the Christmas opera Ein Stern geht aufaus Jakob (Hamburg, Dec. 6, 1970) and religious plays.


P. Flury and P. Kaufmann, O mein Papa...P. B.: Leben und Werk (Zurich, 1979).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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