Heger, Robert, German conductor and composer; b. Strasbourg, Aug. 19, 1886; d. Munich, Jan. 14, 1978. He studied in Strasbourg, with Kempter in Zürich, and with Schillings in Berlin. After conducting opera in Strasbourg (1907–08), Ulm/Donau (1908–11), and Barmen (1911), he conducted at the Vienna Volksoper (1911–13). From 1913 to 1921 he was conductor of the Nuremberg Opera, and then conducted at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. He conducted at the Vienna State Opera from 1925 to 1933; concurrently he conducted the concerts of Vienna’s Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde and conducted opera at London’s Covent Garden. From 1933 to 1945 he conducted at the Berlin State Opera; he also was music director of the Kassel State Theater (1935–41) and of the Zoppot Waldoper. After conducting at the Berlin Städtische Oper (1945–50), he settled in Munich as a regular conductor at the Bavarian State Opera. He also served as president of the Munich Hochschule für Musik (1950–54). Heger acquired a respectable position among opera conductors in Germany. While his compositions failed to maintain themselves in the repertoire, his orchestrations of several of Richard Strauss’ songs have become well known.
dramatic: Opera: Ein Fest auf Haderslev (Nuremberg, Nov. 12, 1919; rev. 1943); Der Bettler Namenlos (1931; Munich, April 8, 1932); Der verlorene Sohn (1935; Dresden, March 11, 1936; rev. 1942); Lady Hamilton (1941; Nuremberg, Feb. 11, 1951); Das ewige Reich (n.d.; rev. 1972 as Traögdie der Zweitracht). ORCH.: 3 syms.; Hero and Leander, symphonic poem; Violin Concerto; Cello Concerto. OTHER: Chamber music; Te Deum for 2 Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1971); choral pieces; songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire