Tragedy in Vienna – singer hurls himself from hospital window

Tragedy in Vienna – singer hurls himself from hospital window


norman lebrecht

November 24, 2011

A laconic leader of Austropop, famed for such morose reflections as The Big Black Bird (listen here), Ludwig Hirsch has taken his own life at the age of 65. He was being treated at  the Wilhelmina Hispital, reportedly for lung cancer, when he jumped from a window to his death.

‘Ludwig Hirsch was part of the Austrian soul,’ said Culture Minister Claudia Schmied. He was one of few living performers to see his face on a national postage stamp. His appeal crossed three generations. RIP.

Here’s an obituary, in the Irish Times, for an Austrian fellow-satirist, Georg Kreisler, who died in the same week.


  • Grant Barnes says:

    The link to the Irish Times is actually to the obituary of Georg Kreisler, who died this week, too. Kreisler was a leading caberettist from two earlier generations than Ludwig Hirsch. (I thank Marino Formenti for his thoughts on Kreisler and his encapsulation of the “black” Viennese humor when I sent my condolences to him on the loss of Hirsch.)