Koch, Helmut, German conductor; b. Wuppertal-Barmen, April 5, 1908; d. Berlin, Jan. 26, 1975. He studied conducting with Fiedler, Lehmann, and Scherchen. He led workers’ choruses for many years. After World War II, he was active in East Germany as founder-conductor of the Berlin Chamber Orch. (1945), conductor of the Berlin Radio Choir (from 1948), and director of the Berlin Singakademie (from 1963); was also a guest conductor at the Berlin State Opera (from 1960). He was widely known in East Germany for his performances of the music of Handel. He made numerous arrangements of German folk songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire