Hans Sommer

Mathematician, Composer

1837 – 1922

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Who was Hans Sommer?

Hans Sommer was a German composer and mathematician. He was most successful as a composer for the theatre. Several of his operas used librettos based on fairy tales and were first produced at Brunswick: Der Nachtwächter, Loreley, Rübezahl und der Sackpfeifer von Neisse, Riquet mit dem Schopf and Der Waldschratt.Saint Foix, a one-act opera, was given at Munich in 1894 and Der Meermann at Weimar in 1896; Der Vetter aus Bremen, Augustin and Münchhausen were not performed. His incidental music to Hans von Wolzogen's Das Schloss der Herzen was first performed in 1897 in Berlin, in concert form. He placed great importance on the literary quality of his librettos, and corresponded with numerous librettists and composers. His many songs, at one time known in England, include the cycles Der Rattenfänger von Hameln, Der wilde Jäger and Sapphos Gesänge; he also wrote orchestral works and male-voice choruses.

Before going into music full-time Sommer, who had studied mathematics and physics in Braunschweig and Göttingen, was also a noted mathematician. He served as the director of the Braunschweig University of Technology, where he taught mathematics, from 1875 to 1881.

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Jul 20, 1837
Apr 26, 1922

on July 23, 2013


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