KÖSelitz, Johann Heinrich

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KÖSelitz, Johann Heinrich

KÖSelitz, Johann Heinrich, German writer and composer; b. Annaberg, Jan. 10, 1854; d. there, Aug. 15, 1918. He studied with Richter at the Leipzig Cons. While in Basel, he formed a close friendship with Nietzsche, from whom he also took lessons in composition. After Nietzsche’s death, Koselitz became his literary executor and also ed. Nietzsche’s letters. As a composer, he elaborated the Wagnerian system of Leitmotive, using the pen name of Peter Gast for his musical productions, among them the operas Wilbraum und Siegeheer (1879), Scherz, List und Rache (1881), Die heimliche Ehe (Danzig, 1891; publ.in 1901 as Der Löwe von Venedig), König Wenzel (not produced), and Orpheus und Dionysos (not produced). He also composed a festival play, Walpurgisnacht (1903), a symphonic poem, Helle Nächte, choruses, and songs.


L. Brieger-Wasservogel, Peter Gast (Leipzig, 1906); F. Götz, Peter Gast (Annaberg, 1934).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire