PAUL ABRAHAM 1892 - 1960

Paul Abraham (Pál Ábrahám) (2 November 1892 in Apatin, Austria-Hungary (today Serbia) – 6 May 1960 in Hamburg) was a composer of operettas. Abraham studied at the Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music in Budapest from 1910 to 1916. He studied cello with Adolf Schiffer and composition with Viktor Herzfeld. Like many other composers of operettas, Paul Abraham started with works of a serious nature. During the decade following his studies he wrote,among other things, sacred music, string quartets and a concerto for violoncello. When he was appointed conductor at the Budapest Operetta Theatre in 1927 he found his way to this more popular art form which was more suited to his talent. His first operetta, Der Gatte des Fräuleins, was written in 1928. With his third, Viktoria und ihr Husar (1930), he already achieved a resounding success. Through this work, and the next two operettas from 1931 and 1933 Die Blume von Hawaii and Ball im Savoy he became renowned worldwide. He also wrote numerous film scores. The events of 1933 forced the artist to abandon his domicile in Berlin and leave Germany. Via Vienna and Paris he moved to Cuba where he earned a modest living as a pianist and later emigrated to New York City. After a mental breakdown he was committed to a hospital in February 1946. In May 1956 he returned to live in Hamburg, Germany, where he died four years later.

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