In dark times, we need a little Hoffnung

In dark times, we need a little Hoffnung


norman lebrecht

December 18, 2021

The children of Gerard Hoffnung, the artist, musician and humourist, have created a scintillating website to preserve his memory and amuse future generations.

Hoffnung, who died aged 34 in 1959, was a serious man as well as a renowned wit – a prison reformer and anti-nuclear campaginer.

He is best known for his concert caricatures and his Hoffnung Festivals, which attracted contributions from composers of many colours.

Check the website. It’s astonishing that one man could have meant so much to so many people in such short a time.




  • Hedgehog says:


  • Larry says:

    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face, NL. Great to see this after so many years.

  • E says:

    There are links to him speaking,
    in the biography section on the website.

  • J Barcelo says:

    Thank you! for making us aware of this site. Boy could concerts today use someone like Hoffnung to liven things up. Humor in music – of all genres – seems to be a thing of the past. Most musicians I know who are under age 50 have never heard of Hoffnung and since they don’t buy CDs, will likely remain unaware.

  • Chilynne says:

    Ah, will have to play our much-loved Hoffnung LPs again! Thank you for the reminder. The website is a delight.

  • SonyTony says:

    I was fortunate enough to be at The Albert Hall concert in ?1964, maybe ‘65, which featured the Concerto for 4 Hoovers and the Horrortorio among many other wonderful premieres.

  • Morgan says:

    Entirely delightful. Merci.

  • Minnesota says:

    Wasn’t aware of Hoffnung before, very unfortunately. He was astonishing–a sort of mix of Spike Jones, Peter Schikele, Victor Borge, Marx Brothers, Looney Tunes, cartoonists from the old New Yorker & Punch, and some others. And his best years were ahead of him, sadly. I’m grateful for the new Hoffnug website.

  • Peter says:

    Its always a delight to be reminded of Gerard Hoffnung.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    To me, the Hoffnung Festival routines that got recorded are far more ‘funny’ than the P.D.Q. Bach stuff.