Paul Lincke (1866-1946)
Born of a poor family Lincke taught himself the violin. His talent was recognised early and he was sent for formal training in Wittenberge but this did not include composition, which was self taught. He wrote his first march dedicated to the town. He held his first position at the Ostend-Theater. He also learned the bassoon and the piano. From 1887 he became director of music at Berlin’s Königstadt Theater where he met his future librettist, who acted there. He started to produce one act plays at the Apollotheater in 1897 but then went to conduct in Paris at the Folies-Bergères for 2 seasons where his weakness for the ladies first showed up. On his return to Berlin he wrote Frau Luna (1899) from where his most famous march Berliner Luft originates, Lysistrata (1902) which included the famous Glow worm Idylle, Grigi (1911) and Casanova (1913) amongst many other operettas and revues. The march and the waltz from this operetta operetta feature in the CD Spirit of Vienna. In 1901 he started the highly successful Apollo music publishing company which rapidly expanded, and still thrives today. But he produced little more with the exception of Ein Liebestraum in 1940 that only lasted because of its few hits. In 1941 he was granted the freedom of the city on his 75th birthday. He was one of the few composers who managed to survive under the Nazis, but in 1943 he joined the Marienbad Theatre in the Czech Republic to escape the bombing. An American general personally brought Lincke back to Germany after the war, but was not able to take him back to Berlin. He is sometimes referred to as 'the Berlin Johann Strauss' and was reputed to have written some 500 works, though nothing like that number are known today. He is only remembered today by the general public for his most famous march Berliner Luft that is often included in the Berlin New Year Concerts.