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Hugo Kaun
1863 - 1932
H. Kaun
Hugo Kaun (21/03/1863 - 02/04/1932), a German composer and choral conductor, from Berlin. In 1886 he moved to Milwaukee and became actively involved in the musical life of the city. He conducted the Milwaukee Liederkranz, the Milwaukee Männerchor and was the director for the 1891 Northwestern Sangerbund festival held in the city. He taught at the Conservatory of Music. As a composer, Kaun penned works in all the major forms. He wrote four operas and other large vocal works including a Requiem, orchestral music and two piano concertos, numerous chamber pieces, works for piano, dozens of songs, and many pieces employing a männerchor. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Kaun’s music was championed by conductors Theodore Thomas and Frederick Stock who both programmed many of his works with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. All three symphonies, his symphonic poems “Minnehaha” and “Hiawatha” and the Fantasiestuck for violin were among the pieces performed on concerts by this major orchestra. In dramatic contrast to these works in the western classical tradition, Kaun also displayed a lighter side and composed polkas, gallops and other salon music under the pseudonym Ferdinand Bold. In 1902, Kaun returned to Berlin to live, teach and compose. Nicolas Slonimsky considered Kaun a “cultured composer, thoroughly versed in his craft.” Regrettably, his music is infrequently performed and little-known today Two representatives of the German-American musical tradition in the twentieth century are noted here. Both are composers with interesting connections to Wisconsin and Madison.
Musical form:a German requiem
Text/libretto:German bible texts
Requiem (Op.116) "Worte nach der Bibel" for Alt solo, male choir and orchestra (orgel).