Karl Dammer

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Karl Dammer

Karl Dammer (born January 2, 1894 in Elberfeld , † February 4, 1977 in Kreuzlingen , Switzerland ) was a German conductor and general music director .


Karl Dammer grew up in Wuppertal-Elberfeld as the eldest child of Gustav Dammers and his wife Josefine. His father came from Breyell on the Lower Rhine, was a merchant and died at the age of 15, his mother was the daughter of the merchant Caspar Giani from Aachen . After finishing school, he studied music at the municipal conservatory in Strasbourg with Hermann Grabner and Hans Pfitzner , became Pfitzner's assistant and met Otto Klemperer , nine years his senior , who was Pfitzner's deputy at the opera and chief conductor of the Strasbourg Philharmonic at the time.

In 1914 he went to the Cologne Opera together with Klemperer and was répétiteur and conductor there until the end of the war . He then worked at the opera houses in Riga, Trier, Aachen and Bremen, where in 1931 he performed Manfred Gurlitt's opera “Soldiers” .

The Deutsche Oper Berlin 1936

In 1934 he came to the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and in 1937 was appointed General Music Director by Adolf Hitler . There he conducted Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini , among others , but also symphonic works by Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner . In 1937 he directed the world premiere of Kurt Atterberg's “Värmland Rhapsody”, and his musical energy was praised in the international press. In 1939 he was replaced in this function by Arthur Rother . Dammer now also joined the NSDAP and returned to the Cologne Opera as Fritz Zaun's successor as general music director . There, together with his bandmasters Günther Wand and Alfred Eichmann, he supervised around 60 opera performances per season. After the Cologne Opera House was destroyed by the air raids in 1943, his activities in Cologne ended in 1944.

As early as 1946 he played his part in the rebuilding of musical theater life as the chief musical director of the Bonn Opera and conducted a series of symphony concerts alongside the city's music director Gustav Classens . Since 1949 Dammer has only been active as a guest conductor of symphony concerts. In 1959 he recorded orchestral works by Ludwig van Beethoven with the Stuttgart State Orchestra. He spent his twilight years in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland on Lake Constance.



  • Gert Burchartz: Family Giani (manuscript), Bergisch Gladbach 1986
  • Generalanzeiger Bonn: Karl Dammer on his 80th birthday , Bonn January 2, 1974
  • Ernst Klee : The cultural lexicon for the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5 , p. 106.
  • Heinrich Lindlar: History of the music school system in Cologne 1815-1925 , ed. by the City of Cologne, Cologne 2008
  • Christoph Schwandt : Opera in Cologne, From the beginnings to the present , Dittrich Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-937717-21-8
  • Wolfgang Seifert: Günther wall, thoughts and memories , Verlag Hoffmann & Campe, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-455-11154-8

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Musical Times: Musical Notes from Abroad , London, January 1937