Death of a German music director, 91

Death of a German music director, 91


norman lebrecht

June 27, 2021

The cultural city of Darmstadt is mourning its long-serving Generalmusikdirektor, Hans Drewanz, who has died at a great age.

Drewanz was the youngest music director in Germany when he took charge of Darmstadt State Theatre in 1963. He remained in charge until his retirement in 1994.

He toured and recorded extensively and was renowned in Japan.




  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Another of my heroes dead. I attended many concerts and have long loved Drewanz’s recording with Ponti of Scriabin concerto. Never understood why he wasn’t better known. RIP.

  • Jonathan Cable says:

    I’m very sorry to hear this. I listened to performances of his growing up in Darmstadt in the 60s.

  • Bernard Jacobson says:

    Hans Drewanz was a gifted musician and a charming man. It was a pleasure to work with him at the Noord Nederlands Orkest in Groningen during the 1990s, when he was its chief conductor and I was serving as the orchestra’s artistic adviser, and he coached me skillfully in German diction when I was preparing to narrate Theo Loevendie’s “The Nightingale” at a performance in Bonn. His talents deserved wider recognition, but he was one of those artists who seem happy to plow their own relatively modest furrows.

  • Thomas says:

    An experienced, totally unaffected conductor. Heard him a couple of times in his autumn years in Darmstadt (he conducted almost to the end of his long life), and he jumped in for a year as chief conductor of Frankfurt Opera when Gary Bertini resigned his post because it had turned out he couldn’t conduct opera.